Perceived Impact of Microfinance Cooperatives on Women Empowerment: Application of Tobit Model
An econometric analysis of Perceived Impact of Microfinance on Women Empowerment (PI) was conducted using the Tobit model. Capabilities are latent variables which cannot be directly observed and measured. However, functionings can be measured. Women empowerment is a capability enhancement process for women. In this study, several functionings are considered, namely, income, savings, amount of Household assets, amount of Productive assets, employment opportunities, power of decision making, confidence to face problems, better awareness, knowledge about banking operations, social status, level of education for children, nutrient and health of household, employability skills and participation in community activities. The study analysed the perceived impact of microfinance on women empowerment in Tsholotsho District. The investigation was based on a population of 2,233 microfinance cooperatives members in Tsholotsho District, Zimbabwe and assuming a 10% level of precision, a sample size of 100 respondents was derived using the Yamane’s approach. A majority of the microfinance cooperatives participants who were part of the representative sample indicate that microfinance improves their ability to meet functionings under study. Spouse income, Family business background, Household size, Birth order or position in the family of birth have a positive effect on microfinance participant's perception. The study recommends packaging of microfinance taking into account birth order and family business history effects in Tsholotsho and also spreading of informal microfinance models to other districts and provinces. Further studies are needed, namely, assessing the economic impacts of male folk migration to South Africa on women empowerment and general poverty alleviation in rural areas, especially Tsholotsho.
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