"If I was able to acquire that piece of land, is there something I can't do?": assessing effects of the Women Economic Empowerment Program on the psychological empowerment of HIV positive women in Ngong, Kenya
Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
The purpose of this study is to find out whether the Women Economic Empowerment Program (WEEP) targeted at HIV positive women in Ngong, Kenya, empowers its participants psychologically. The research data consists of ten interviews conducted in 2015 in Ngong with women who were recently enrolled in the 18-month program and women who had recently graduated from the program. The field work also included systematic observation. A qualitative content analysis was performed on the interview material, and the impact of the program on the participants’ psychological empowerment was analyzed in terms of the interviewees’ feelings of self-confidence/beliefs in self-efficacy, self-respect, and acceptance. The results show that the newly-graduated participants demonstrate higher levels of self-confidence and stronger beliefs in self-efficacy than the newly-enrolled, framing their own hard work as the most important factor affecting whether they will accomplish their goals in life. The newly-graduated also experience higher levels of self-respect. The newly-graduated experience higher levels of acceptance than the newly-enrolled women when dealing with stigmatizing relationships. Based on these findings, the WEEP program is argued to empower its participants psychologically. Inspirational leadership, capacity building activities, experience of goal success, and the program as a space for emotional peer support were identified as some of the factors and processes behind the result. The results can, with consideration, be generalized to contexts with similar target groups and organizational goals and settings.
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IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-296448OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-296448DiVA: diva2:938389
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