Income Generation and Empowerment Pathways for Rural Women of Jagusi Parish, Uganda: A Double-Sided Sword
43 Pages Posted: 14 Oct 2020 Publication Status: Under Review
This paper contributes to the growing literature on women’s economic empowerment by exploring the effects of engagement in income-generating activities (IGAs) on capacity to realize self-defined goals, centered on well-being and decision-making. Women from Jagusi Parish, Uganda, participated in an innovative Card Sorting Game (CSG), choosing locally-framed empowerment scenarios that they ‘experienced’ or ‘aspired to experience’ in the future, ranking their choices. Statistical analysis compared groups of women with and without IGAs with respect to CSG choices and selected survey questions. Structural barriers of poverty and gender discrimination remain major challenges in Jagusi. Yet, many women prove to be resilient and creative in meeting their self-defined goals, while generally conforming to prevailing social and cultural norms. This study provides evidence that some women are incrementally using their IGA earnings to acquire assets, establish businesses, improve domestic relations, and participate in community affairs that ultimately may sidestep discriminatory laws and norms to allow women to exercise increased political and economic influence.
Keywords: women's empowerment, gender norms, income generation and women's economic empowerment, rural Uganda, Card Sorting Game, Card Sorting Relationship Sequencing
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