A Pathway to Women’s Empowerment in Tanzania: Capacity Building for Personal and Social Impact

By Dorothy Ettling, Alison Buck and Paula Caffer.

Published by The Organization Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Women who are working for economic sustainability and social change in their local communities, especially economically poor women in developing countries, have a need for a recognition of their capacity for leadership and an opportunity to exercise leadership in their local community. A typical word for this process of development is empowerment. In 2005, Tanzania was estimated to have 1.4 million people living with HIV/AIDS. The estimated number for women was 710,000 (ages 15-49). The high incidence of HIV/AIDS among women is explained by the unequal social and socio-economic status of women and men. The economic impact of AIDS in Tanzania can be assessed in terms of the great loss of labor supply. Since women comprise between 60% and 80% of the labor required for farming activities in a country where 80% of the population is engaged in agriculture – corresponding to 52% of the GDP –, any losses in labor supply due to AIDS become a food security problem. This paper details the five-year collaborative process between a rural women’s cooperative and a small international NGO to build the capacity of women to engage and manage micro-businesses and to evaluate their perceptions of personal and social impact resulting from their participation.

Keywords: Micro-Finance, Economic Development, Women’s Empowerment, Cultural Change, Social Impact

International Journal of Knowledge, Culture and Change Management, Volume 9, Issue 12, pp.49-62. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.227MB).

Dr. Dorothy Ettling

Professor, Dreeben School of Education, University of the Incarnate Word, San Antonio, Texas, USA

Dr. Ettling is Professor in the Ph.D. program at the University of the Incarnate Word and founder of Women’s Global Connection, a non-profit organization promoting the leadership and learning of women in less advantaged regions and countries of the globe. Her interest is in researching personal, organizational and social change processes and in developing processes that facilitate this change. She has worked in international contexts for over 30 years.

Dr. Alison Buck

Adjunct Faculty, Dreeben School of Education, University of the Incarnate Word, San Antonio, Texas, USA

Dr. Buck’s area of expertise is in organizational research and adult learning theory and practice.

Dr. Paula Caffer

Research Associate, Women’s Global Connection, San Antonio, Texas, USA

Dr. Caffer’s research interest in the social entrepreneurship particularly with women and the interface of interactive communications technology in the developing world.


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