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A Structural Equation Model of Women Empowerment Through Self-Help Groups in Rajasthan
The main objective of the present study is to identify the association between microfinance and women empowerment. In other words, an attempt has been made to find out as to how effective microfinance has been in empowering women through their self-employment. The women linked with Self-Help Groups (SHGs) in Rajasthan are taken as a target population for this paper. For this purpose, multi-stage random sampling technique has been used. Dausa district of Rajasthan has been chosen for the field study. Lawan block has been randomly selected. Thirty-eight SHGs have been selected by random sampling. Women linked with SHG are taken as sampling unit. The randomly selected 500 women were interviewed and their views were collected through structured questionnaire under the household survey administered during the months of January-February 2018. The study identified four significant factors of empowerment viz., Economic, Autonomy, Network, communication and political participation, and Social Attitude. Among these, empowerment by the economic factor is the most effective. In fact, economic factors are twice as effective in empowering women as members’ autonomy and network, communication and political participation factors. Without doubt, the social attitudes are also decisive in terms of their contribution to women empowerment, but are about 85% as effective as the economic factors. Education factor is unable to capture statistical significance to influence the women’s empowerment.
Empowerment of Women, Economic Factors, Microfinance, Non-Economic Factors, Rajasthan, Structural Equation Modeling.
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