753.5 Poverty eradication and women's empowerment: A sociological setting of social capital & self-help groups

Saturday, August 4, 2012: 3:18 PM
Faculty of Economics, TBA
Oral Presentation
Birendra SUNA , School of Law, Chanderprabhu Jain College of Higher Studies, Delhi, India
This paper synthesis the theoretical issues and debatable questions arise from the critiques of the concept of development and substantiate with the field data. Attempts have been made to highlight the complex and often paradoxical assumptions behind policies and programmes of development in the perspective of social capital and the SHG that provides a practical introduction to the task of applying Women in Development (WID) and Gender and Development (GAD) frameworks followed by microcredit strategies. Drawing on the socialist-feminist perspective, the GAD approach argues that women’s status in society is deeply affected by their material conditions of life and by their position in the national, regional, and global economies. The fundamental objectives of any development programme are to accomplish gender equality and gender justice. The economic growth impact is not uniform across countries. Development through the SHG became an alternative innovation in meeting the credit needs of the poor in general and poor women in particular in order to enable them to cross the threshold of poverty by exploiting economic opportunities that they can perceive. Development theorists hold that the SHG represents the process by which “social capital” as distinct from financial assets, machinery, land and other resources has now become critical for development. The social capital theory advocates that women are stronger in bonding, and the self-help group mechanisms are well-built among women. The SHG serve as social collateral and are together accountable for day-to-day business of the SHG-the mechanism of poverty eradication.  The women members of the SHGs resemble more with the contrastive explanation of the social action offered by the feminist economists that is the model of non-deterministic multi-dimensionality and relatedness in which both material and non-material motivations drive human behaviour. This framework is also referred to as the “empowerment approach” or “gender-aware planning” for poverty eradication.