WIT Press

Factors Affecting Women S Empowerment On Irrigation Schemes In The North West Province, South Africa


Free (open access)

Paper DOI






Page Range

245 - 257




457 kb


S. S. Tekana, O. I. Oladele


This study examines the impact of water-related policies on women’s empowerment on irrigation schemes of the North West Province of South Africa. A simple random sampling technique was used to select 84 women on 5 irrigation schemes across the province. These irrigation schemes have been under different management styles over the recent past years. Data were collected on their demographics and empowerment using a modified Women Empowerment Agriculture Index developed by IFPRI. The indices covered women’s access and control to physical, natural, social, financial, and human livelihood capital. The study also examined empowerment indices to show different areas where women are empowered and this included the use of income, 53% are disempowered, about 60.2% of women are disempowered in access to productive capital and access to credit, while about 50% are empowered in leadership and decision making. Significant determinants of empowerment were expenditure (t = 1.68) and drip irrigation type (t = 1.71). The results highlighted different areas of intervention in order to ensure an adequate level of empowerment across the livelihood capital for women on irrigation schemes. It also highlights the need to promote women’s participation in decision-making for water management and also suggests ways in which women’s access to water can be improved through equitable development.


water security, women’s empowerment, gender, water scarcity, livelihood capital