IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Microfinance and Women's Empowerment: Do Relationships Between Women Matter? Lessons from rural Southern India

Listed author(s):
  • Isabelle Guérin
  • Santosh Kumar
  • Isabelle Agier

In 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.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
File Function: wp10053
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles in its series Working Papers CEB with number 10-053.

in new window

Length: 19 p.
Date of creation: Nov 2010
Publication status: Published by:
Handle: RePEc:sol:wpaper:2013/68292
Contact details of provider: Postal:
CP114/03, 42 avenue F.D. Roosevelt, 1050 Bruxelles

Phone: +32 (0)2 650.48.64
Fax: +32 (0)2 650.41.88
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:sol:wpaper:2013/68292. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Benoit Pauwels)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.