581.2 Gender empowerment and microfinance: Theoretical and empirical perspectives

Friday, August 3, 2012: 2:45 PM
Faculty of Economics, TBA
Oral Presentation
Nana Akua ANYIDOHO , Sociology, University of Ghana , Ghana
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Micro-credit has become a common tool in the development kit and is commonly offered up as an anti-poverty and empowerment strategy for women. The assumption is that women’s access to economic resources will increase their income and, more broadly, increased economic power that will be the basis for their enhanced ability to act in ways that are beneficial to themselves and to their families. The expected ripple effects of micro-credit therefore include physical (material), economic, social and political benefits fanning outward from the women, to her children and family, and to wider society.

 The paper makes a contribution to research and practice around micro-credit  interventions by critically examining the mechanics through which micro credit can be helpful to clients. Among other recommendations, we suggest that the use of micro-credit for consumption should be considered as a legitimate anti-poverty strategy; and further that the organization of loans and repayments should be customized to the circumstances of different categories of women.