Nonfarm employment is an increasing form of employment in rural areas in Sub-Saharan Africa. This is partly because many of the workers in developing countries especially in Sub-Saharan Africa are self-employed workers. Most women in Uganda do not own land since customary land ownership system deprives women of owning land. This has pushed women to nonfarm employment in urban areas, semi-rural, and rural areas. This paper explored the implications of nonfarm rural employment on the social and economic empowerment of women in rural areas. The findings revealed that nonfarm rural employment boosts women’s income, puts women in leadership positions in women’s groups such as the savings groups, and empowers women to become independent by reducing economic dependence on men or their husbands while also providing women with decision making power both in the community and households. Additionally, successful women in nonfarm employment, especially self-employed women, are role models and a motivation to other rural women to venture into nonfarm employment. Being successful as a woman in nonfarm employment also comes along with leadership roles and high social status in the community.
Key words: Nonfarm employment, women empowerment, rural nonfarm economy, Uganda.
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