Social Capital and Women's Empowerment in Kenya: Case Study of Murang'a County

One of the pillars that can bring about empowerment is building social capital and social institutions. This study sought to examine the relationship between social capital and women’s empowerment in Gikindu, Murang’a County, Kenya. Women’s empowerment was measured as an index capturing employment, ownership of enterprises and decision-making. The Social capital index was measured along three dimensions: groups and networks, trust and solidarity, and collective action and cooperation. A total of 2806 women were sampled. First we estimate a probit and an OLS model. We find a positive and significant relationship between social capital and women’s empowerment. Due to potential reverse causality between these two factors, we also estimated a 2SLS and an ivprobit model. The estimates showed a doubling of the marginal effects of social capital after we controlled for endogeneity, suggesting that endogeneity biased downwards the effects of social capital.