Microfinance and Women Empowerment in Zimbabwe: A Case of Women Development Fund in Umguza District
International Letters of Social and Humanistic Sciences
The gender dimension of poverty focuses on the dilemma of women, their numerous roles as women and their role in dealing with poverty. In many developing countries, women are discriminated upon in terms of their access to capital means of production; basic needs support, employment opportunities and access to credit facilities. In Zimbabwe, like in many developing countries, empowering women through micro-credit finance is viewed as a means of reducing women poverty, empowering them, reducing
... ng them, reducing their vulnerability and improving their well-being especially in the rural areas. This paper discusses the role of the government of Zimbabwe in empowering rural women through the introduction Women Development Fund (WDF). The study was carried out in Umguza district in Matabeleland North province of Zimbabwe. The study employed mainly purposive sampling and data was collected using questionnaire, key informant interviews, focus group discussion observation and oral history. Research revealed that WDF as a strategy has made a difference in the livelihoods of the recipients through initiation of income generating projects. However the major handicap with WDF is that the amount of money given are small and that it was employed in isolate hence the need to have complementary initiatives such as capacity building, market networking among others.