Assessment of women savings and credit cooperative services in Zuway Dugda District, south east Ethiopia
The purpose of the study was to assess contributions of Savings and Credit Cooperative services to improve rural poor women’s living conditions and their socioeconomic and political empowerment in the Zuway Dugda District, South East Ethiopia. A mixed research design was employed through using quantitative and qualitative research methods and research instruments/tools, respectively, to generate pertinent primary and secondary data from the respective sources. Among 527 women as a target population in those rural villages of the District, a total of was 70 women in the Cooperatives was drawn as a sample. The study found out that poor women in the study area have shown an exemplary role in fighting poverty through organizing themselves and pooling their meagre resources in improving their lives and working conditions, as well as empowering them in making decisions on limited issues at household level, but not as such at community level. The study therefore revealed the importance of cooperatives’ services for the well-being of the members, their families and their community in poverty reduction through economic and social development and employment creation; their contributions to the members of the Savings and Credit Cooperatives in improving household income, expenditure, shelter, household assets, food access, education and in accessing health care services; and to the improvement of decision making power of members at family level. However, further studies are necessary to determine the positive contributions of the Savings and Credit Cooperatives’ services in various socio-cultural, economic and political contexts at different levels in the District.
Keywords: Savings, credit, cooperatives, services, Zuway Dugda, Ethiopia