Empowering the frailty: dissecting the role of microcredit
AbstractThe present paper seeks to dissect the significance of micro-credit in empowering women. It starts with a brief discussion on the role of micro-credit in poverty alleviation in general, widely acclaimed in contrast to the top-down policies. The concept of empowerment is defined from different perspectives of power, feminism and personal autonomy in family framework before taking up the agency of micro-credit for analysis. Here we identify three contrasting ‘paradigms’ with different underlying aims and understandings and different policy prescriptions and priorities in relation to both micro-finance itself and to gender policy such as the feminist empowerment paradigm, the poverty alleviation paradigm and the financial self-sustainability paradigm. Though some evaluations paint a positive picture of the impact of credit programs on women's lives in that access to savings and credit can initiate or strengthen a series of interlinked and mutually reinforcing ‘virtuous spirals’ of empowerment, we take care not to ignore the practical difficulties involved. Also considered in this respect is the role of outside agencies in the empowerment process.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 36383.
Date of creation: 15 Aug 2011
Date of revision:
women empowerment; micro-credit; power; poverty alleviation; family; autonomy;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- I30 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General
- D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
- G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
- J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
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- Ravallion, Martin & Lokshin, Michael, 2002. "Self-rated economic welfare in Russia," European Economic Review, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 46(8), pages 1453-1473, September.
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