Women Collective actions and Empowerment in Agricultural Value Chains in Simanjiro District Tanzania
John N. Jeckoniah

Women face many barriers in accessing markets for their agricultural products. Collective action (CA) has been identified as a potential option to overcome such barriers and empower them. As such, they have been organising themselves in different forms of collective action through formal and informal organisations in order to raise the capital base required in production and to influence traditions, laws and regulations that hinder their active participation and benefits. This paper explored the relationship between women's participation in collective action initiatives and their empowerment. A cross-sectional research design was adopted, involving402 respondents in the survey. Descriptive statistical analysis was used to explore thetypes and benefits of collective actions. In the same vein, an index scales was used to gauge the extent of women empowerment and ordinal logistical regression was used to determine the relationship between participation in collective action and empowerment. Women in the study area were categorized into medium level of women empowerment (CEI=0.6033) while 45.8% were categorized into higher level of women empowerment and 13.6% and 16.4% were categorized into no and low empowerment levels respectively. Ordinal logistic regression model revealed that marital status, education level, access to credit and participation in any form of collective action were the most important factors for women empowerment (P<0.05). In view of this, it is concluded that women still face many barriers towards their empowermentand CA has potential to contribute to their empowerment and the government and none governmental organizations need to strengthen efforts in the identified CA initiatives. It is recommended that development actors work beyond increasing the resources at women‟s immediate disposal and focus more on addressing unequal social relations and the „structures of opportunity‟ faced by women, including their sense of collective as well as individual agency.

Full Text: PDF      DOI: 10.15640/ijgws.v5n2a6