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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    • "In the Philippines, Cheston and Kuhn (2002) found that women clients of Opportunity Microfinance Bank have gained leadership experience and confidence as leaders of their Trust Banks, and have gone on to be elected as leaders within their barangays (community-level political unit). Evidence from BRAC research indicates that credit programmes have afforded women's groups opportunities to engage in political movements (Hashemi, Schuler, and Riley 1996). Kim et al. (2007), in their study of impact of a microfinance- 900 T. Yeboah et al. based intervention on women's empowerment and the reduction of intimate partner violence in South Africa, further found that the risks of sexual or physical violence by intimate partners was reduced by more than half among their sampled population as a result of women's access to credit. "
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    ABSTRACT: This article critically examines the role of microfinance in shaping gender relations and empowerment outcomes for women. One aim of advancing credit to women is to empower them, thereby increasing their bargaining power and challenging existing gender subordination. We caution against this view and instead show that the mainstream argument is much more complex than what the popular rhetoric preaches. We argue that lack of a systematic strategy to incorporate men and the wider socio-cultural dynamics within which women are domiciled radically constrain the empowerment potential of microcredit programmes, and in some contexts may lead to unintended consequences for women.
    Development in Practice 08/2015; 25(6). DOI:10.1080/09614524.2015.1064361
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    • "By extension, this definition implies that economic empowerment needs to be preceded by significant changes in the socio-cultural, economic and political institutions to ease the struggle for women to increase their bargaining power and improve their livelihood security on sustainable basis. Similarly, Hashemi et al.'s (1996) argument to the effect that the ability of women to exercise control over their microcredits and businesses is important in any considerations of their economic empowerment indicators was also of great interest to this study. "
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    ABSTRACT: This study was carried out to investigate the perceptions with respect to the requirments and benefits of microfinance in peri-urban Tamale. A multi-stage sampling technique was employed to select 192 beneficiary and non-beneficiary respondents of microfinance in peri-urban Tamale. Individual Interviews and focus group discusions were used for the study. The results revealed that the loans were inadequate. Also while 53.7% were satisfied with the interest rate of 25% per annum, 43.2% were not. However, while 87.4% were satisfied with the repayment period, 12.6% were not. Furthermore, 56.8% and 36.8% of respondents had significant and moderate improvements in their businesses respectively. However, 6.3% said that there had not been any change in their businesses. Besides, 71.6% said that their economic status was much better than before. This also impacted positively on their social and political lives. Inadequate credit facilities emerged as the biggest challenge as identified by 52% of respondents. There is the need for governmental support with respect to the inhibiting requrements to increase accessibility without also crippling the Microcredit institutions.
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    • "Khandker (2005, p. 284) affirms that microfinance accounts for 40 % of the entire reduction of moderate poverty in rural Bangladesh and that microfinance's spillover has 1 % annual effect among non-participants with regard to poverty reduction for those living under moderate poverty and 1.3 % annual reduction among those living under extreme poverty conditions. Some other authors (Rahman 1996; Mahtab 2007; Hashemi et al. 1996) support the above arguments. In another study in Bahawalpur, Pakistan, Nawaz et al. (2012) found that microfinance effects women's empowerment because of their use of microfinance in various income generating activities, and that economic empowerment leads to increasing empowerment within the family and society. "
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    ABSTRACT: The paper explores the impact of microfinance on multidimensional constructs of empowerment and the catalysts thereof. The reference point for analysis in the paper is the women microfinance borrowers’ self perception about their life transmutation as well as that of household power configuration. Unlike other recent research papers on the topic that focus on women’s economic empowerment, this paper focuses on both economic and socio-cultural empowerment. The paper is based on both primary and secondary data. Qualitative primary data were collected from women beneficiaries of microfinance in Bangladesh. This paper argues that microfinance can be a useful empowerment tool that can transmute women’s economic position and power relationships, but only when combined with financial literacy. It concludes that financial literacy is more important than access to credit and should be the focus of all future microfinance programs.
    Voluntas 05/2015; DOI:10.1007/s11266-015-9585-z · 0.56 Impact Factor
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