To areas (GSS, 2007). Again, Ghana’s population has about

To
eradicate poverty among people, especially women, various developmental tools have
been put in place by international development agencies, policy makers and
non-governmental organizations in developing countries for the past two decades
(Afrane, 2002). Micro-finance and for that matter micro-credit is one of such developmental
tools, aimed at reducing poverty by bringing a significant improvement in the
lives of the vulnerable and poor groups in the society- especially women
without access to the five critical assets including natural, physical, social,
human and financial capital (MoFEP, 2009).  

According
to Asiama et al, (2007), “the clients of micro-credit and microfinance in Ghana
are predominantly women in rural and urban areas. These women are engaged in
income generating activities such as farming, petty trading (including service
provision and street vending), food processing, weaving, basket making”.  

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Despite,
the influx of large number of microfinance institutions worldwide and for that
matter Ghana and their significant roles they have played in the lives of women
for decades, several studies have shown that, women in Ghana, especially rural
areas are often confronted with challenges. For instance, 2007 survey conducted
by Ghana Statistical Service indicated that, poverty in Ghana still remains a
disproportionately rural phenomenon, up until now 86 percent of the total
population living below the poverty line in Ghana live in the rural areas (GSS,
2007).

Again,
Ghana’s population has about 70 percent of women being poor and this due to the
discrimination in the areas of education, employment, health services and
control over assets (Otoo, 2009). To support the above statement, Oteng-Preko
(2007), has also argued that the socio-cultural ramifications in Ghana and most
parts of sub-Saharan Africa, has made women powerless in household level decision
making. He further stressed that since headship in households is male dominated,
the ability for women to exercise control in decision-making as well as
possessing control over a household’s land, capital and other valued resources,
can be overly limited.

Looking
at available current literatures, enough research has not been conducted on the
role of microfinance in empowering women in rural and urban areas in the
selected study area-Sefwiman Rural Bank Limited. It is against this backdrop,
that the researcher has realized the need to access the role of microfinance in
empowering women in Sefwiman Rural Bank Limited and its catchment areas and
also to identify the challenges these women go through in accessing and using
the micro-credit that they receive from Sefwiman Rural Bank Limited.

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