Microcredit and Its Impact on Women’s Empowerment: Some Evidence from Moshi, Tanzania

Christopher Mtamakaya, Damian Jeremia, Sia Msuya, Babill Stray-Pedersen
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 In Tanzania patriarchy prevails and women continue to be relatively disadvantaged compared to men. As a result women position is low, are poorer, have low education and lack self-esteem. Microcredit has shown to be an effective tool for combating these diseases of the poor, but unlike other developing countries its potential has not been fully explored in Tanzania. This population based cross sectional study explores the impact of microcredit programs participation on women’s empowerment. Logistic regression was done to examine association between participation and indicators of women empowerment. Crude and adjusted odds ratios, P-values and 95% CI were computed to show the association. A total of 900 non elderly women were enrolled, participation was found to be significantly associated with age (p<0.001), level of income (p<0.001) and number of living children (p<0.002). Majority of the study participants had primary education (85.1%) and unemployed (92.1%). Low income earners were 40.2%, program participants were 38% mostly in middle level income group (57.7%). Logistic regression to 18 empowerment indicators revealed a significant association at 5% level between program participation and empowerment. We demonstrated a positive association and concluded the strategy travels well and can empower women in Tanzania. However, efforts are needed to make the programs reach the most disadvantaged.