EVALUATING DOMAINS ASSOCIATED WITH ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT OF SMALL-SCALE FEMALE AGRO-PROCESSORS IN SOUTH AFRICA
Women’s economic empowerment has been South Africa’s policy priority since the country became a democracy. This paper examines the domains associated with the economic empowerment of small-scale female agro-processors in South Africa. A sequential exploratory mixed methods research design and a close-ended questionnaire were used to collect quantitative data from 503 small-scale agro-processors in five
provinces. Qualitative data were collected during five focus group sessions aided by the focus group guide. The results show that production decision-making (β = 0,140; p = 0,003), access to productive resources (β = 0.140, p = 0.001), time allocation (β = 0.327, p = 0.000), and intervention (β = –0.353, p = 0.004) are the critical domains of small-scale agro-processing empowerment. The study revealed that only four domains of women’s economic empowerment have significantly improved the economic status of small-scale agro-processors.
However, the combination of income, leadership, and intervention (β = 0.009, p = 0.015) was also a significant influencing factor. The study recommends that small-scale agroprocessors be provided with necessary policies and legislative control over their production decisions. This authority is coupled with broadening access to productive resources, time allocation, grants, leadership, and projects to actively empower these entrepreneurs.
small-scale agro-processing; women’s economic empowerment; domains; leadership; income; interventions
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