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ISSN: 0331-4111
Volume 14, No. 2  (2016)

DOI: 10.36108/NJSA/6102/14(0270)

Challenges and Support Mechanisms for Women in the Informal Sector in Iwo, Osun State, Nigeria
Deborah O. Obor¹* & Emeka E. Okafor²
¹Department of Sociology Bowen University, Iwo
²Department of Sociology  University of Ibadan
*Correspondent Author: obordebby@yahoo.com

Studies on women in informal sector have not sufficiently addressed their challenges and support mechanisms. This study was conducted among women in informal sector in Iwo, Osun State. Social network and liberal feminist theories were adopted. This exploratory research was conducted in three locations in Iwo town namely; Adeeke, Odori and Boku Soro. The selection of respondents was purposive, based on type and duration of involvement in business. Twenty in-depth interviews were conducted with respondents to elicit information on reasons for entry into business, challenges faced, support mechanisms available and awareness and utilization of loans from financial institutions. Data were analysed using content analysis and verbatim quotations. Reason for entry into the businesses included; interest, economic purpose, inability to get jobs, support to family and supplementing spouse income. Financial supports were from various trade associations and cooperative societies they belonged, while nonfinancial supports were close family members like children run errands and assist in processing raw materials to semi or finished products. Most respondents were aware of loans provided by various financial institutions, however, they hardly utilized them. There is the need to carry out adequate enlightenment and education women in accessing soft loans provided by microfinance banks in sustaining, improving and expanding their businesses.
Keywords: Support mechanisms, women in informal sector, trade associations, women entrepreneurship

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