Journal of
African Studies and Development

  • Abbreviation: J. Afr. Stud. Dev
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2189
  • DOI: 10.5897/JASD
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 221

Full Length Research Paper

Women in nonfarm rural employment: implications on the social and economic empowerment of rural women in Uganda

Esther Kantono
  • Esther Kantono
  • Department of International Development and Cooperation, Graduate School of International Studies, Ajou University, Republic of Korea.
  • Google Scholar
Kuluthum Nakalema
  • Kuluthum Nakalema
  • Action for Inclusion, Uganda.
  • Google Scholar
Elizabeth Namujogo
  • Elizabeth Namujogo
  • World Vision Uganda.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 28 July 2021
  •  Accepted: 14 September 2021
  •  Published: 30 September 2021


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.