Minaxi K. Bariya and Hansa P. Gami
College of Agriculture, Mota Bhandariya Amreli (Junagadh Agricultural University, Junagadh)
Women are an integral part of every economy. All round development and harmonious growth of a nation would be possible only when women are considered as equal partners in progress with men. "Investing in women's capabilities and empowering them to exercise their choices is not only valuable in itself but is also the surest way to contribute to economic growth and overall development. The relationship between women's empowerment and social development has been a major theme in studies of any nation’s overall development. The United Nation (UN) claims that improving women’s status is not only beneficial to themselves but also for overall social and economic development of the nation. Therefore the study was carried out to know the social empowerment of rural women through self help groups. The present investigation was carried out in Gir Somnath district of Gujarat State. Five talukas of Gir Somnath district were selected purposively where SHGs formed under Ambuja Cement Foundation and Krishi Vigyan Knedra. Two villages were purposively selected from each taluka, where SHGs have been working for the last four years. From each village twenty five SHG women members and twenty five non SHG woman members were selected randomly for comparative study. Thus the total sample size was 500. The ex-post facto research design was adopted. Data were collected through personal interviews using the pre-tested structured interview schedule. The result revealed that the independent sample ‘Z’ test showed that there was significant difference in the mean values of SHG members and Non SHG members in case of social status, communication ability, mass media exposure and extension contact.