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Effects of Selected Women's Economic Empowerment Programs on Poverty Alleviation in Marigat Ward, Baringo County, Kenya

Abstract: Women's economic empowerment programmes have emerged as powerful tools for alleviating poverty in developing countries, aligning with the central goal of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. These programmes acknowledge the widespread discrimination experienced by women and girls across the world. Consequently, the study investigated the impact of women's economic empowerment programmes on poverty reduction in Marigat Ward. Specifically, it aimed to assess the effects of skill development, table banking, market connections, and networking and mentorship on poverty reduction. The research adopted a cross-sectional approach and was conducted in Marigat Ward, Baringo County, focusing on women who had benefited from empowerment projects. Stratified random sampling was employed, resulting in a sample size of 334 individuals. Additionally, 15 Key In-depth Interviewees (KIIs), comprising empowerment program leaders, were purposefully selected for face-to-face interviews. Data collection utilized questionnaires and interview schedules, with subsequent analysis involving filtering, coding, and input into SPSS version 26.0. The gathered data encompassed quantitative and qualitative aspects, with descriptive statistics like percentages, frequencies, and tables employed for analysis. Qualitative data underwent thematic examination aligned with research goals. Positive and strong associations were identified between women's skill development, market connections, mentoring and networking, and poverty reduction, with correlation values of .233**, .129**, and .248**, respectively. The research, at a 95% significance level, concluded that skills development, market connections, mentoring, and networking significantly influenced poverty reduction among women, with values of .001, .010, and .001, respectively. However, table banking exhibited a minor impact on poverty reduction among women, with a significance value of .659. Notably, mentoring and networking emerged as the most influential factors in women's poverty alleviation, followed by skills development, market connections, and, to a lesser extent, table banking. These findings underscored the pivotal role of social work in advancing gender equality and poverty reduction through targeted programs and practical guidance.

Key Words: Women’s Economic Empowerment Programmes, Poverty alleviation, Skills Development, Table Banking, Mentorship and Networking


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