EFFECT OF INFORMAL FINANCIAL MARKET ON RURAL WOMEN HEALTH AND WELFARE IN OWO LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA, ONDO STATE, NIGERIA

Author's Name: Okeya Olutoyin Elizabeth D.Ed, Dare Funso David Ph.D & Okeya Isaac Olaitan
Subject Area: Social Science and Humanities
Subject Arts and Humanities
Section Survey Paper

Keyword:

Informal Financial Market, Rural Women, Health Economics, Poverty Reduction, Health and Welfare


Abstract

This study examined the effect of the operations of informal financial institutions on the economic and health welfare of rural women in Owo Local Government Area of Ondo State, Nigeria from two perspectives: rural economic welfare and health welfare. 362 structured questionnaires were administered to members of thirteen cooperative and credit societies drawn from Owo town and its suburbs based on stratified sampling. Secondary data was employed for the loan/credit portfolio of selected cooperative societies together with the information gathered through questionnaire. The questionnaire covers the demography of the respondents and the two focal areas of the research. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used in analysing the data collected. The methods used to test the research hypotheses were percentages and ordinary least squares regression analysis. Findings show that from the economic welfare (poverty reduction) standpoint, only interest rates on cooperatives credit have positive and significant effect on poverty reduction. In contrast, from the perspective of health welfare (health improvement), credit granted to members by cooperative societies have positive and significant effect on rural women economic and health improvement. The null hypotheses in both situations could not be accepted. The study therefore recommends that potential borrowers should look beyond attractive interest rate to the actual overall economic and health benefit of the credit obtained; there should be greater accessibility to fund and close monitoring of how the women utilise the credits obtained; and the local government should strive to fill the gap in quality health delivery for their rural women.

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