Main Article Content
The concept of women empowerment as a goal of development projects has been gaining wider acceptance in developing nations around the world, through self-help efforts and entrepreneurial self-reliance. The desired goals of self-help economic development programmes include developing the human, organizational and management capacity of the women folk to solve problems that are central to their welfare improvement. Women earn little or no income to face the challenges of home-keeping, educating and clothing their children, and also effectively contribute to the socio-economic needs of their communities. Women in agrarian communities hardly have enough time to spend on the family’s land and their income drops often to ridiculously low levels. This study had examined the factors that influence women to participate in collective self-help development programmes, and the effect of such participation on their socio-economic status in Sagamu area of Ogun State, Nigeria. Primary data were collected from adult women by systematic sampling technique, using structured questionnaires. Probit regression model was specified to estimate the determinants of women participation in self-help economic programme. Factors that significantly determine women participation in collective self-help programmes were household size (0.0345; p<0.01), spouse’s political affiliation (0.1351; p<0.1) and years of respondent’s formal education (-0.0079; p<0.1). Respondent’s years of formal education inversely affects the level of participation in collective self-help programmes against a priori expectation. The need for mobilising the community women elite, and proper orientation for the male household heads towards the gains of collective self-help programmes and grass root politics, were recommended as major steps towards achieving a sustained level of women participation in collective self-help programmes in the study area.