This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Gender and Rural Vitality: Empowerment through Women’s Community Groups




Majokweni, Zipo-zihle Pilela

Type of Degree

Master's Thesis


Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology


Rural women are often the main supporters of their families and have been involved in improving the quality of life for households and communities. Sustainable rural development and poverty reduction is linked to empowering women. Community groups are one mechanism for empowering women and fostering economic development. For the poor, the ability to organize and mobilize to solve problems is crucial because collective capability assists in overcoming challenges arising from marginalization and limited resources. Even though considerable work has been done on the impact of institutional support for community groups, it is not well documented how the efforts of women’s community groups actually lead to improved socioeconomic wellbeing. The results of the study elucidate the positive impact of female group membership as a mechanism for advancing livelihoods and socio-economic wellbeing. The findings are intended to help institutions that work with women groups improve the impact and sustainability of these key mechanisms for development intervention.