Women Empowerment through Microcredit: Rhetoric or Reality? An evidence from Bangladesh

Md. Al-Amin, Md. Ismail Hossain, Golam M. Mathbor

Abstract


Microcredit has become a key instrument to the path of women empowerment in Bangladesh and has been replicated in many parts of the globe. However, the credit-based model does not go beyond the academic debates. Many scholars have argued that microcredit has brought substantial changes to the pathway of women empowerment. Challenging this view, others scholars have claimed that microcredit has no significant effect on empowerment of women rather very often it causes harm to poor women. This paper assumes that the existing literatures have lack in finding the concrete impact of microcredit due to the perception of empowerment from a narrower view. Thus, this study defines empowerment from a broader perspective considering the different levels of empowerment and assesses the impact of microcredit on these levels based on empirical evidences from Bangladesh. This paper reveals that microcredit has very minimal effect on empowerment due to its overemphasis on income and economic empowerment. This paper concludes that microcredit alone often cannot bring desired changes to the lives of women in a patriarchal society unless further interventions are made at their social, cultural, perceptual and psychological levels.

Keywords


Empowerment, Microcredit, Development, NGO, Women

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4471/generos.2013.22

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Géneros - Multidisciplinary Journal of Gender Studies | ISSN: 2014-3613

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