The Necessity of Vocational Training as a Tool for Empowering Rural Women in Ward Five, Mashonaland East, Zimbabwe

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International Journal of Research and Innovation in Social Science (IJRISS) | Volume V, Issue III, March 2021 | ISSN 2454–6186

The Necessity of Vocational Training as a Tool for Empowering Rural Women in Ward Five, Mashonaland East, Zimbabwe

Florence Jura
Zimbabwe Open University, Zimbabwe

IJRISS Call for paper

Abstract: The study evaluated the necessity of vocational training as a tool for rural women empowerment. Specifically, the study targeted women in Ward 5 of rural areas in Mashonaland East. The research adopted an interpretivist research philosophy and a qualitative research approach with which case study research design was used. Data was generated through face-to-face interviews and questionnaire using convenience sampling. The targeted population were the women in one of Mashonaland East`s rural constituencies. The study found that rural women remain side lined from participating in vocational training due to distance barriers, socio-economic status, education, beliefs systems and socialisation systems. Results also show that vocational training was of much significance in their empowerment as rural women. Acquiring skills like gardening skills had helped women to start their own livelihood projects to the benefit of the country. One of the main recommendations of the study was that there was need to move away from the donor syndrome to a more sustainable paradigm which has long lasting benefits.

Key Words: vocational training, tool, rural women empowerment


Economic development has been and is still a global challenge which seeks to be addressed globally. Responding to these challenges UNDP Global Conference on Women Empowerment (2016) suggested vocational training as a weapon to achieve economic empowerment, since most of the rural women are illiterate. Rural women make significant contributions to the rural economy leading to transformational sustainable economic development in all regions of the world (FAO, 2014). As such rural women education and training are regarded as powerful tools for rural women’s empowerment, (ILO, 2009). In addition, rural women participation and empowerment are fundamental rural women’s rights which enable them to have control over their lives and become influential in the society (Pillary, 2005). However, FAO (2014) indicated that globally, rural women often face exclusion from attaining vocational training because of factors such as background, cultural and religious beliefs whilst they constitute over two-third of the world’s illiterate people.
After realising challenges being encountered by rural women, United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) came up with a strategy for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET)