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|
Professor, Dreeben School of Education, University of the Incarnate Word, San Antonio, Texas, USA
Adjunct Faculty, Dreeben School of Education, University of the Incarnate Word, San Antonio, Texas, USA
Research Associate, Women’s Global Connection, San Antonio, Texas, USA
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