Levels and Differentials in Decision-Making Power of Women Organized versus Not-Organized in Self-Help Group in Debre-Markos City and Gozamin District of Amhara Region, Northwest Ethiopia


  • Adane Yenealem
  • Degefa Tolossa
  • Esubalew Abate Associate Professor, Center for Rural Development, College of Development Studies, Addis Ababa University,


self-help group, decision-making, empowerment, food security


A self-help group approach is one of the women empowerment approaches that specifically target impoverished women. The approach has been implemented in different parts of Ethiopia since 2002 through the support of non-governmental organizations. Thus far, there is a lack of adequate research on the contribution of the self-help group approach to women’s decision-making power. Hence, this study examined the decision-making power of women organized and not organized in the self-help groups in Debre-Markos City and Gozamin District, Amhara region. The research design was cross-sectional. Data were collected using mobile application from 284 randomly selected women organized in self-help groups (146) and not organized in the self-help groups (138). Women empowerment index was used as an outcome variable, constructed based on a set of empowerment questions. Ordinary Least Square (OLS) regression was used to determine the effect of the main exposure variable (i.e., membership in self-help group) on the outcome variable. The finding has revealed that women organized in self-help groups were able to attain significantly higher scores of empowerment than women who were not organized. The findings imply that self-help group approach as an alternative women empowerment model which has huge potential to promote the wellbeing of individuals and households.