Services Delivery in Local Government and Empowerment of Female Headed Households: The Case of Huye District, Rwanda
KeywordsSocial work and Community development
Family headed households; Empowerment; Community development services.
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AbstractThis study “Services delivery in local government and empowerment of female headed households” was carried out in order to explore the community development services delivered in Huye district and how they impact on the empowerment process of female headed households (FHHs) in particular. It is an exploratory study that used mainly qualitative approach and survey design. Questionnaire, interview and focus group discussion were mostly used to collect data and thematic analysis to discuss the results. Findings revealed that FHHs participate actively in community development services (CDS) offered through various programs such Girinka program (one cow per poor family program), Umurenge SACCO, Vision 2020 Umurenge Program (VUP) and Intambwe Groups; where gender equality is highly observed. Respondents declared that CDS were an opportunity for FHHs and other poor people to participate in income generating activities. The credit and saving services are offered mainly via Umurenge SACCO and Intambwe groups and this prevents them not always rely on governmental support. Through national women council (CNF) and Umugoroba w’ababyeyi (women evening gatherings), local leaders report about the family and CDS related issues. Most of the time, community members select among them who should participate or benefit from a given service to testify the accountability and transparency in local government; even though it has been noted that in some areas, local authorities decide on their behalf. Nevertheless, family size, old age and level of education, have been raised among the issues that hinder the empowerment process of FHHs. The strategies already undertaken are family planning programs, financial support for old people and free basic education. Given the insufficiency of those strategies, the researcher recommends the local government to closely follow-up the implementation of CDS, sensitizing men about gender equality; and finally to increase the level of transparency in the CDS provision.