The Role of NGOs in Empowerment of Rural Women ( Case Study: Roshtkhar County)

Document Type : Research Paper

Authors

1 Dep. Geography of Faculty of Letters and Humanities of Ferdowsi University of Mashhad – Mashhad- Iran

2 Phd. from Geography of Ferdowsi University of Mashhad – Mashhad- Iran

Abstract

Introduction
Achieving sustainable development is not possible without the active participation of women in all areas. Therefore, women in general and rural women in particular must be empowered in various fields, including economic and social, in order to be able to better play their role in society. To this end, empowerment must go beyond the mental framework and become a supportive environment based on a sense of responsibility, so that rural women have the opportunity to cooperate and participate in a desirable way.
The realization of these things will not be possible except through groups, organizations and empowerment programs. Therefore, in this study, an attempt is made to study and analyze the role of these organizations in empowering rural women in the study area. Preliminary exploratory studies have shown that rural women in the region have a lot of potential economic and social potential, especially in starting a business, but they face many problems and obstacles that have prevented the realization of these capabilities.
The Bashgah keshavarzan Javan is a formal non-governmental organization active in the study area. This institution has been formed by using various educational, cultural, artistic,. functions in the field of entrepreneurship and development of the agricultural sector with specific goals. The goals of this organization are to provide opportunities for youth participation as farmers of tomorrow, to achieve the goals of agricultural and rural development, to lay the groundwork for the flourishing and dynamism of mental capacity, personality, knowledge and skills of rural youth to improve better lives in It is a village. Therefore, the main question of the research is what is the relationship between the activities of NGO "BkJ" and the empowerment of rural women members in the villages of Roshtkhar County?
Methodology
The studied geographical area is the villages of Roshtkhar County of Khorasan Razavi province, which is located in the south of Torbat-e Heydarieh county. Its center is the city of Rashtkhar and is located 165 km south of Mashhad. The research method of this research is causal-comparative and descriptive-analytical. The statistical population of the study includes rural women in working ages (15-64) and a member of the NGO (BKJ) , living in 10 villages of Rashtkhar city. The total number of female members is 800. With the Cochran's formula and an error of 0.06%, the sample size of 200 people was obtained, the number of which was determined in proportion in the studied villages. In order to have the effect of this NGO in empowering female members, 200 non-female women have been considered as a control group.
Using the researcher-made questionnaire and designing open and closed questions appropriate to the type of question, the required field information was collected. 25 indicators were used to measure the effects of NGO on women's social empowerment and 15 indicators were used for economic empowerment. Cronbach's alpha test tool was used to validate the questionnaires and ensure reliability.
Results and discussion
The statistical population of the study is women members of NGO (BKJ) in 10 villages of this city. , has been studied. The results showed that there is a significant inverse relationship between age and empowerment of women in both groups and with increasing age, their empowerment decreases. between the level of education of members and their social and economic empowerment, a significant positive relationship was obtained with correlation coefficient (0.123) and (0.161), respectively. And because female members have a higher level of education, they have more social and economic empowerment.
he result of the role of of NGO BKJ on increasing the economic empowerment of members, T-test of two independent groups showed that out of 15 economic indicators, 9 indicators are significant and women members of NGO have higher economic empowerment But about the other 6 indicators, which include "increase in control and planning of their income and family", "access to credit, loans and facilities", "access to production resources", "increase market awareness", "increase access to "Multiple markets" and "Increasing employment in agricultural activities with earnings", no significant difference was found between the two groups. Therefore, it can be concluded that NGO BKJ has not been able to achieve full success in the field of economic empowerment of women and this process is still ongoing and they need facilities and financial support, market awareness and increased production skills.
To assess the role of the NGO BKJ on increasing the social empowerment of female members, 25 indicators were considered. Although the significance level of t-test in 9 indicators, there was no significant difference between the opinions of the two groups, but in 16 indicators, there is a significant relationship and positive effect. NGO proves the social empowerment of women. Regarding the indicators of "participation rate in the working group", "participation rate in rural elections" and "increasing communication with other families", between the two groups, the average to high average and the difference between the means is a sign of no significant relationship. here is no significant difference between "Awareness of social and legal rights", "Awareness of laws and regulations" and "Awareness of the benefits of participation in society" and both groups of rural women have low awareness and therefore NGO has not been able to social empowerment in The above indicators are successful. Therefore, full empowerment is done through a process in which the NGO BKJ is still halfway through.
Conclusion
Comparing the two groups of female members and non-members of NGO with t-test and significance level, a significant difference between the opinions of the two groups was proved; The average empowerment indicators of women members of NGOs are higher than non-members, which is the result of the educational activities and skills enhancement of NGOs. Despite the positive effects of NGO, but some problems such as lack of understanding and definition of this NGOs among villagers and rural women, people's lack of trust and view of the exterior of this NGOs and the failure of some NGOs, is a warning sign to diminish them.

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Articles in Press, Accepted Manuscript
Available Online from 10 May 2021
  • Receive Date: 26 July 2020
  • Revise Date: 09 May 2021
  • Accept Date: 10 May 2021