year 7, Issue 4 (winter 2018 2018)                   E.E.R. 2018, 7(4): 102-116 | Back to browse issues page

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nematolahi M J, kaboli H, yazdani M R, mohamadi Y. The Role of Microfinance Intermediation in Empowering Rural Women and Reducing the Socio-Economic Impacts of Dust Storm: A Case of South Khorasan International Carbon Project. E.E.R.. 2018; 7 (4) :102-116
URL: http://magazine.hormozgan.ac.ir/article-1-429-en.html
University of Semnan , hkaboli@semann.ac.ir
Abstract:   (2251 Views)
Extended abstract
1- Introduction
Today, dust storms are one of the natural hazards that affect the comfort and life of the inhabitants of the areas exposed to them. Hussein Abad Ghaynab, the site of the International Carbon Sourcing Project, located near the Afghanistan border, has a dry and fragile climate exposed to 120-day winds of Sistan. Due to the presence of Afghan refugees in the region in the 1360s who were planting for cooking, along with the livelihoods of the livestock, the desert meadows of this plain were severely degraded, which caused the decay of vegetation to exacerbate the wind erosion caused by the wind 120-day old Sistan. Carbon Sequestration Project (CSP) is a joint initiative of Iran’s Forest, Range and Watershed Organization, the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and Unit Nation Development Program (UNDP). The project aims to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions and climate change, the national goal of reducing desertification and dust as well as the regional goal of mobilizing local communities and empowering rural communities to improve their social, economic and poverty alleviation. Accordingly, rural immigration began to work. The project has been instrumental in empowering the local community to manage pastures and economic activities, and by relying on specific strategies such as engaging participatory rural women, it used this community as a permanent associate in the management and rehabilitation of pastures in the region. The main objective of this project is the sustainability of natural resources, especially in the areas rehabilitated by reducing the village's dependence on natural resources by skill and non-skill training, creating alternative livelihoods with job empowerment and addressing villagers in the region, especially rural women. The purpose of this study is to examine the role of micro-credit intermediation on the empowerment of rural women and to reduce the socio-economic impacts of dust storms.     
2- Methodology
The present research has an applied objective which has been done by descriptive-analytical method. The sampling method is the census or the whole number of women receiving the credits. The data gathering tool in this research is a researcher-made questionnaire. The sampling method is the census or the total number of women receiving the credits. The data gathering tool in this research is a researcher-made questionnaire. The first part of the questionnaire is related to the information related to trusted credit funds, such as the duration of membership in trusted funds, how to get acquainted with micro-funds, and the amount of loans received. The cost of borrowing, the satisfaction of the loan repayment period, and the individual characteristics of respondents such as age, education, family members, source of family income before membership, and family income. The second part of the questionnaire consists of each dimension of empowerment (impact on family decision-making, situation in society, political, economic and effect on self-esteem), which were designed in Likert scale. In order to ensure the validity of the questionnaire, the research committee examined and verified the various dimensions of the questionnaire. The reliability level of the questionnaire was obtained using Cronbach alpha (0.952), indicating a high index.
 
3 – Results  
Two variables such as age of the members and loan adequacy in all dimensions of empowerment were significant and positive. The results of this study showed that the granted micro-credits improved the socio-economic conditions of rural women, so that the granted credits had the most significant impact on the rural dimension of rural empowerment. It showed that with the variables such as monthly income, age, membership in microfinance, the adequacy of the loan, the amount of loans and the level of education of rural women had a positive and significant relationship. In other words, the greatest impact of these credits on the economic empowerment of rural women indicated that rural women were able to provide new income for their families and reduce the dependence of their households on rangeland and contribute to the rehabilitation of pastures, resulting in dust reduction.
4- Discussion & Conclusions
Based on the results, the most significant impact of these credits on the economic empowerment of rural women was that rural women were able to provide new revenues for their households and reduce the dependence of their households on rangeland and contribute to the rehabilitation of rangelands. The results of the research indicated the rural livelihood dependency on the rangeland, so that the occupation included 70% of the rural women's livestock spouses. Therefore, the necessity of empowerment of rural women and increasing income of rural households and consequently the reduction of pasture dependency and carbon sequestration were felt more. The average age of members trusting microfinance indicated that young rural women belonging to microfinance funds acknowledged that they were looking for decent jobs and income for their households. Based on the results, rural women by using microfinance funds were able to provide new income for their families and reduce their dependence on rangeland and contribute to the rehabilitation of pastures, which resulted in a reduction of dust. 
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Received: 2018/01/31 | Published: 2018/08/27

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