Three Dimensions of Women Empowerment: The Obaapa Self-Help Group and the Question of Em(powerment)

Lukas Valentin, Phillip I Fan Lu & Alfred Aberfo

Studenteropgave: Masterafhandling


This paper investigates the Obaapa Self-Help Group and the impact they have on women
empowerment, which is explored in the following three dimensions: societal, relational, and
personal. They are a group of five women residing in Winneba and gather funds for a monthly
financial rotational scheme. They also focus their efforts and funds on collective action
involvement directed towards their community. Women em(power)ment, as characterized
by the paper, is bringing power to women. Primary data collection was carried through use of
semi-structured interviews, focus group discussions, and observations.
The paper investigates balance of power between agents and structures at three levels. On a
societal level, the fund circulated do not, in most cases, reach the most impoverished
individuals and the belief that finances are empowering exists only within the group. On a
relational level, we see that within household decision-making is in the hands of the five
women and that their contributions aid the community. However, this group does nothing to
address structural inequality outside their reach and speaks merely of their own relative gain.
On a personal level, women in the group express higher incidence of self-development (e.g.
self-esteem, self-confidence, etc.), but lack often the personal awareness of the structural
inequalities faced by other women of lower class. Overall, benefits do exist to being part of
the Obaapa group and the women do attempt to address structural/agency inequality.

UddannelserInternationale Udviklingsstudier, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) MasterInternationale Studier, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) Kandidat
Udgivelsesdato3 jun. 2019
Antal sider93
VejlederePaul Austin Stacey