Assessing rural women’s empowerment in Kermanshah Township

Document Type : Research Paper


Department of Agricultural Extension and Education, Faculty of Agriculture, Razi University, Kermanshah, Iran


Extended Abstract


Rural women make up Forty percent of the agricultural workforce in developing countries, however, due to limited access to resources, especially land, limited access to inputs and credit, insufficient technical competence, and poor participation in decision-making. Restricted access to mass media and lack of media coverage do not have a good socio-economic status, especially in developing countries. Also, rural women are from poor and disadvantaged sections of society who have job opportunities. And do not have independent income. The situation of women, especially rural women, indicates the unfavorable trends of the past and the failure to achieve the goals of the development program in the field of women. Therefore, one of the main weaknesses in developing development strategies is not considering the role and capabilities of women in the economic, social and cultural development of society, while women are not only the subject and goal of any kind of development. Empowerment is a process that helps women gain greater access to resources, participate in decision-making, and achieve independence and self-reliance. Therefore, considering the importance of women's empowerment and their role in development, the question arises whether rural women in Kermanshah are capable?


This descriptive correlation study was conducted to evaluate the empowerment of rural women and the factors affecting it. The statistical population was active rural women in Kermanshah (women aged 15 to 64 years) which according to the statistical yearbook of 2016, was determined as 41267 people. The sample size was 381 using Krejcie and Morgan table, but 400 questionnaires were collected. Sampling was performed using a multi-stage method. In the first stage, a village was selected from each of the four geographical locations of the north, south, west and east of Kermanshah city (four villages in total). In the second stage, 3 villages and a total of 12 villages were randomly selected from each village, and finally, samples from 12 villages were randomly selected by proportional assignment.

Data collection was a researcher-made questionnaire based on the dimensions of Gates model

(2017). Gates model Resource dimensions (physical well-being (9 items related to insurance, leisure time and leisure activities), critical awareness (13 items related to the importance of recognizing rights, pursuing rights, defending rights and awareness) Legal) and assets (financial and productive resources (14 items related to ownership, access to financial and credit resources, productive resources and inputs, income, sources of income, savings, borrowing and loan repayment capacity), Knowledge and skills (63 items related to participation in training courses, skill level, and level of different knowledge), time (3 items related to empowerment-related activities) and social capital (15 items)), Agency (decision making (13 items), leadership (9 items) and collective action (6 items related to membership in collective institutions and activities)) and institutional structures (family support (6 items), community (7 items)) , The market (9 items) and the government (6 items)) In general, the range of questions included open-ended, two-sided, multiple-choice and Likert questions. A panel of experts in rural sociology, agricultural extension and rural development was used to validate the questionnaire. Cranach's alpha coefficient was calculated to estimate the reliability of the research instrument and to evaluate the internal consistency of the items. This amount of 0.72 Up to 0. 85 A questionnaire was obtained for different structures. After evaluating each component and total capability, stepwise multiple regressions was used to investigate the effect of independent variables on rural women's empowerment.


The results showed that the average resources available to rural women in Kermanshah are lower than average. They are inferior to men in terms of access to resources, and this has been confirmed in many studies. Vital awareness is one of the resources that women can use to empower themselves. The results showed that the average vital knowledge of rural women in Kermanshah is moderate. The average is. The assets of rural women in Kermanshah were below average. This is the result of various issues such as the very low ownership of women by basic sources of production, including land and water. According to the findings, the leadership power of rural women is low. Leadership requires characteristics such as self-confidence, self-efficacy, awareness and dominance and active participation in society. Therefore, it is necessary to strengthen these characteristics and skills among rural women. The findings showed that the highest level of support for women by the family and the lowest level of support by the government and the market. According to the findings, the level of education accounted for the largest share in women's empowerment, and the education of rural women increased their control over various aspects of their lives. Participation in non-formal education classes is also an individual variable that had a high impact on women's empowerment in rural areas, but due to various reasons, the presence of women and girls in these classes is low. Women's financial power is one of the dimensions of their empowerment, which increases women's economic self-confidence by playing more economic roles in life. It can be said that women's bargaining power increases with earning, and according to gender literature. Women who are in control of their income are more likely to be empowered. I n the experience of the International Labor Organization, when access to women is limited, their increasing access to information is the most beneficial option for empowerment. The results indicate that the women studied had limited membership in various organizations such as cooperatives, credit funds, etc. Membership in organizations can help women become more aware of social roles by increasing their connections. Most rural women do not have direct access to the market to sell their products, and most of them are forced to sell their products through intermediaries.

Keywords: Village, Rural Empowerment, Rural Women, Empowerment, Kermanshah.


Main Subjects

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