Article

Rural Credit Programs and Women'S Empowerment in Bangladesh

Jahangirnagar University, Dhaka, Bangladesh
World Development (Impact Factor: 1.73). 02/1996; 24(4):635-653. DOI: 10.1016/0305-750X(95)00159-A
Source: RePEc

ABSTRACT This paper presents findings from a study of Grameen Bank and the Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee (BRAC), two programs that provide credit to poor rural women in Bangladesh. The programs were found to have significant effects on eight different dimensions of women's empowerment. The authors use a combination of sample survey and case study data to argue that the success of Grameen Bank, is particular, in empowering women is due both to its strong, central focus on credit, and its skillful use of rules and rituals to make the loan program function.

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    • "Also debated are issues of financial viability and sustainability at the programme level (Ahmed and Townsend 1998; Rahman and Khandker 2000), the share of benefits reaching women versus men (Ahmed and Hassan 1990; Goetz and Gupta 1996; Rahman 2000); and the contribution of micro-level successes to macro-level poverty alleviation (Khandker 1998; Sen 2000). 3 For example, see Schuler and Hashemi 1996; Hossain and Huda1995; Momen et. al. 1995; Mahbub and Roy 1997; Husain 1998; and Rahman 2000. "
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    • "Most of the women (70%) we interviewed had been in the program from between six and 10 years. In an earlier study in Bangladesh, Hashemi et al. (1996) suggested that the longer a woman stayed as a member of either BRAC or Grameen Bank, the greater the likelihood that she will be empowered. Our focus group discussions and in-depth interviews with women revealed no such relationship. "
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    • "While he avoids compiling a definitive list of those capabilities (Nussbaum, 1997), he elaborates on certain non-financial capabilities that are particularly influential, such as health, education and women's empowerment (Sen, 1999). These aspects have been extensively studied in empirical work on MC (Hashemi et al., 1996; MkNelly and Dunford, 1998; Pitt and Khandker, 1998; Wydick, 1999). Moreover, Sen argues for the acknowledgement of multiple " ends " of development as legitimately valued outcomes (Ansari et al., 2012; Nussbaum, 1997; Sen, 1999). "
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