Empowerment of Women Through Self-Help Groups in Nepal

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Bidhya Shrestha


The empowerment of women is not a new concept. However, it is still a challenging issue in most developing countries like Nepal. This study attempts to assess women’s empowerment through self-help groups (SHGs) in Nepal. Knowledge, association, and participation are the leading indicators to measure the effect of SHGs on women’s empowerment. Data for this study is entirely based on the Nepal Social Inclusion Survey 2018, comprising 16,329 currently married women aged 15–49 years. The binary logistic regression method has been used to show the effect of SHGs on women's empowerment. Findings show that women’s active participation in SHGs matters in empowering women. Women who participate in SHGs are more empowered than those who do not participate and have no knowledge of SHGs. The influence of participation is found more effective, especially in the sociocultural domain, than in the economic and political spheres. The findings further show a gap among women members. The reasons for this difference may vary because empowerment is contextual. Thus, the local government, civil society, and women activists need to realize women’s inclusion and active participation in SHGs.


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Bidhya Shrestha, Central Department of Population Studies, Tribhuvan University, Kirtipur Kathmandu, Nepal

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