WOMEN PARTICIPATION IN THE ACTIVITIES OF RURAL WOMEN SCHOOLS AND ITS RELATIONSHIP WITH SOME PERSONAL CHARACTERISTICS; THE CASE OF UMALQURA VILLAGE IN GEZIRA STATE, SUDAN
Rural Women Schools (RWS) has been advertised and adopted by many development agencies as an effective approach to build women’s capacities in developing countries. The Sudanese government adopted RWS to promote rural development and strengthen disadvantaged groups of women in many parts of the country. A program was implemented in Umalqura village in Gezira State to increase women’s level of knowledge in home economics, human health, environmental health and mitigation of bad habits. This study adopted a full count sampling method (census) to assess the level of women participation in the training activities and its relationship with some of the characteristics of the participant women. Data was collected by questionnaires and analyzed using both descriptive and inferential statistics methods. Socio-demographic background of the participating women reflects that majority of them were housewives lying in the age of 20-50 with primary and secondary education. Results show that, about two thirds of women participated in all implemented activities. However, project effectiveness, changes in knowledge and skills of the participating women were moderately and substantially correlated (r= .330 and .645 respectively) with the level of participation in the project activities. However, women with larger family size were less participating in the activities and therefore, they were less benefiting from the activities. Environmental awareness raising and frequency of participation in activities were positively correlated(r=.129). Income was positively correlated with participation in the RWS but with low correlation coefficient (r=.11). The study thus, concludes that RWS approach would give greater development impact if it will be widely adopted for development projects targeting women
Keywords: Food Processing, Bad Habits, Participation.