Women’s Groups and Women Empowerment Collectives A Baseline Landscaping study of Women’s Groups and Women Empowerment Collectives in Uganda


This report details the findings of a landscaping study of Women Groups and Women Empowerment Collectives (WECs) in Uganda in the period 2022. WECs are institutions of the poor that build women’s human, financial and social capital (Chidiac 2019). Economic empowerment of women is essential both to realize women’s rights and to achieve broader development goals such as economic growth, poverty reduction, health, education, and welfare (Grantham et al 2021; World Bank 2021; OCED 2019; ODI 2019; ICRW 2011). Women’s Economic Empowerment (WEE) is the capacity of women to participate in, contribute to and benefit from growth processes in ways that recognise the value of their contributions, respect their dignity and make it possible to negotiate a fairer distribution of the benefits of growth (OCED, 2011). Over the last decade a broad range of Organizations have committed themselves to the goal of women’s economic empowerment. These Organizations realize that economically empowering women is a win-win that can benefit not only women but society in general.

Women worldwide have organised themselves in various categories of women’s groups to drive their empowerment agenda (Desai, et al., 2020). Literature suggests that Women’s groups are important in advancing women’s economic participation and wellbeing (Desai, et al., 2020). FinScope Uganda (2018) showed that savings groups are very instrumental in improving women’s access to financial services, expanding women empowerment capabilities including skills development, building networks, and economic resources. Despite being recognized as important vehicles for development interventions, there are gaps with regards to groups in terms of their characteristics, scope, and operating models. Understanding these group aspects, would help stakeholders to design relevant interventions that can drive women’s economic empowerment outcomes.

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