Role of Cooperatives in Women Empowerment: A Case of Surkhet District, Nepal
Keywords:economic empowerment, socio-cultural empowerment, political empowerment, cooperatives, women empowerment
This study aims to identify the contribution of Mangalgadhi Multipurpose Cooperative Limited (MMCL) on economic, socio-cultural and political aspects of women empowerment who were involved in MMCL. The study was conducted in Birendranagar Municipality of Surkhet district among the 120 women beneficiaries of MMCL. Out of 441 women members of MMCL only 120 members with five years of experience on cooperative activities were randomly selected for data collection. Primary data were collected through structured questionnaire, focus-group discussions and key informant interviews. Paired samples t-test was applied in three different domains of women empowerment; economic, socio-cultural and political dimensions. The result specifies that all the indicators were found significant impact on women’s empowerment. This study found that there was significant difference in economic, socio-cultural and political empowerment of women after involvement in MMCL programs. Women members were found empowered in their economic activities, maintain social relationship, reduce the gender disparity, involve in social program, conduct the cultural program and participate in political program through MMCL activities. They have expanded their network of relationship through saving and credit program. The study shows the need of expansion of MMCL program in hard-to-reach areas also to empower the economically, socially, culturally and politically disadvantaged groups.