|dc.description.abstract||The study was conducted in Awash Fentale and Gewane Weredas, southern Afar, Ethiopia
with the objectives: (1) To assess the extent of women participation in multipurpose
cooperatives; (2) To investigate the economic and social contribution of multipurpose
cooperatives to women in the study area; (3) To examine major factors influencing women
participation in multipurpose cooperatives and (4) To recommend suggestions for enhancing
the participation of women in multipurpose cooperative.
Data for the study were derived from 10 purposively selected MPCs in the area. All women
members were selected from the selected MPCs. To address the objectives of the study, both
quantitative and qualitative methodologies were used. Data were collected from primary and
secondary sources. The primary data necessary for the quantitative study were collected
through personal interviews from 90 women drawn purposefully from ten multipurpose
cooperatives by conducting formal survey using structured interview schedule. Qualitative
data were collected through; focus group discussion, observations, and informal discussion
with key informants. Descriptive statistics with appropriate statistical tests, T test for
significant and Karl Pearson’s Correlation were used to analyse the data.
The findings of this study showed that women are conspicuously under-represented at
decision making, implementing decisions, shouldering of responsibility, attending general
meeting, involvement in share purchasing and leadership. Only 8.9%, 8.9%, 10%, 10%,
11.1%, 8.1% of women were actively participated in the above activities respectively.
The survey result showed that the majority of the respondents did not aware of the rule, the
by –laws, principles, values, rights and obligation of members and how income is distributed.
Only 14(15.6%) of the respondents know properly the principles and values of cooperatives,
only 19(21.1%) of the respondents aware of the by-laws, rules and regulation of the
cooperative, only 27(30%) of the respondents know the right, duties and obligation of
members in the cooperative, only 34(37.8%) of the respondents aware of how income is
The survey reveals that the majority of women derived appreciable economic and social
benefit through their participation in the multipurpose cooperatives. Contribution to increase
in income, assets, livestock holding, food supply, credit availability, education of children,
health condition, potable water supply and clothing aspects are the prominent socio -
economic benefits derived by women.
The output of Pearson correlation analysis indicated that age, duration of membership,
livestock ownership, total income, distance, awareness about cooperative, training access,
position of women, shows a significant relationship with participation.
Lack of awareness, culture, lack of access to information, work load in the house, lack of
education, lack of capital, the negative attitude of the society towards women and mobility
were the most important factors contributing to the inactive participation of women in MPCs
in the study area.
Therefore cooperatives should focus on creating awareness, educating women, increasing
training access to women and educating the society to bring attitudinal change on gender