Microfinance and Women's Empowerment: Do Relationships Between Women Matter? Lessons from rural Southern India
AbstractIn the microfinance industry the idea of “empowerment” is often valued as a means to encourage female emancipation from male domination. This paper’s main purpose is to draw on women’s testimonies and narratives to highlight the fundamental importance within these processes of women’s relationships with one another, both in terms of female subjectivity and agency. Women constantly position themselves between their kin and their neighbourhood in a context where dependence upon men is considered as natural. Microcredit uses are shaped by and constitutive of the relationships between women, including power relationships. Our findings suggest revising the usual opposition between power as domination (power over) and power as agency (power to). In many cases, women’s agency requires or implies their domination over other women.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles in its series Working Papers CEB with number 10-053.
Length: 19 p.
Date of creation: Nov 2010
Date of revision:
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Microfinance; Gender; Empowerment; Power; Domination; Agency; India;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- O16 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance
- G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
- L31 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - Nonprofit Institutions; NGOs
- J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
- D14 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Saving; Personal Finance
- D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances
- O53 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Asia including Middle East
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