In India, rural women are marginalized and live in isolated communities with limited access to essential services. Self-help groups (SHGs) are seen as an effective and challenging tool for rural women to gain access to credit. Empowering women through SHGs through collective development actions will benefit the individual women, the family, and society. It is also used as a vehicle for social, economic and political empowerment and as a platform for service delivery. This paper examines the economic empowerment of rural women through the SHGs. The study was carried out on 120 SHG members from four villages in the Palladam Block in the Tirupur District, Tamil Nadu. Statistical tools such as percent analysis, mean, paired t-test, and Garrett's ranking technique were used for this study. The empirical evidence showed a significant difference in income, expenses, and savings members made after joining SHGs. The results of Garrett's ranking indicated that SHG members believed that saving purposes are celebration, education, and marriage. In summary, the SHGs have effectively brought women together in remote rural areas and have often proven to be instrumental in rural development.
Keywords: Economic empowerment, Garrett's ranking, paired t-test, rural women, rural development, self-help groups.