Empowerment of Smallholder Women Farmers through Self-Help Groups in South-West India
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Keywords:Empowerment, Self help groups, Market-led extension, Women farmers
Though women act as the backbone of world agricultural workforce most of them are economically backward.Â But, self help group (SHG) movement made some tangible changes in empowering rural women in India. The study was carried out among 120 SHG women farmers and 60 non-SHG women farmers of south west India toÂ analyze the impact of SHGs in empowering rural farm women. Results showed most of SHG women farmersÂ as highly empowered and their economic empowerment found to be prominent compared to control group. However, empowerment score of non-SHG women farmers showed strong correlation with some social andÂ technological indicators. Major factors that favoured sustainable high performance of SHGs were; heterogeneity
of the group, proximity of the womenâ€™s households, income generation and extension contact. The study confirmed that acquisition of some autonomy by women in social participation and economic decision-makingÂ have contributed to overcome many constraints that hamper their overall empowerment.
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