Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Self Help Groups and empowerment of women: Self-selection or actual benefits?

Husain, Zakir and Mukherjee, Diganta and Dutta, Mousumi (2010): Self Help Groups and empowerment of women: Self-selection or actual benefits?

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Abstract

Evidence on success of SHGs in empowering females is mixed. In particular, researchers argue that such schemes often attract women who are already active in the public domain (referred to as ‘self-selection’), so that those who are most in need of assistance remain excluded. Simultaneously, the fact that a majority of the SHG members are already empowered leads to exaggerated estimates of the effects of the program (called ‘program effects’). This paper attempts to test the significance of the program effect of SHGs by comparing empowerment levels of newly inducted and older members of SHGs. The paper is based on a survey conducted in six municipalities in West Bengal, India.

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