Gender Dynamics: A Study of the Differing Experiences of Women in Formal and Informal Cooperatives

May 27, 2024
By Prof. Isaac K. Nyamongo, Dr. Judith A. Hermanson, Dr. Lydia Mutua, Silas Maiyo, and Victor Wambua

This study, co-designed and conducted by the ICRG and the Co-operative University of Kenya (CUK), examines and explains why more women join informal groups (Chamas) compared with SACCOs (formally organized cooperatives) and characterizes gender-specific bonding in the two types of social networks. It adopts a mixed-methods approach to answer the following four research questions: (1) What are the reasons more women join informal groups (Chamas) compared with SACCOs? (2) What are the perceived benefits of being in an informal group (Chama) compared with a SACCO? (3) What barriers do women face joining SACCOs? and (4) What are the characteristics of the social bonds among members in informal groups (Chamas) and in SACCOs?

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