Empowering Women Self-Help Group Members through Open and Distance Learning
Women self-help groups play a crucial role in personal emancipation and community development. This in itself is worthy of commendation. However, the role played by women in these societies can multiply in economic value if members are literate and vocationally skilled. Many members of women self-help groups are mostly illiterates who have had no access to formal education. At this point in their lives, they do not need school or a degree but vocational skills and basic education for empowerment and self-reliance. This is hinged on the fact that education liberates and Open and distance learning (ODL) is a powerful instrument for achieving this objective. The study investigated ways ODL can benefit the women self-help groups in 5 market locations in Lagos Mainland and sought the women’s perception of ODL as a means of empowerment. Structured interview was used to get responses from a total of 200 purposively selected respondents. Data gathered were analysed and findings revealed that members of women self-help groups believe ODL is a good means of acquiring education and empowerment because of its flexibility (working and learning).
Keywords: Self-help groups, empowerment, ODL, flexibility, vocational skills, basic education.