Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Microfinance: Champion in Poverty Alleviation and Failure in Female Empowerment

Dobra, Alexandra (2011): Microfinance: Champion in Poverty Alleviation and Failure in Female Empowerment. Published in: Internationale Politik und Gesellschaft , Vol. 3, No. 3-2011 (July 2011): pp. 134-144.


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In the past few years the provision of financial services to low-income clients via microfinance programs has drastically increased due to its positive effects on development. There are plenty of policy concerns surrounding the triad of microfinance, poverty reduction, and female empowerment. Microfinance programs provide an effective and operational policy tool which is successful in reducing poverty »holistically,« in the sense that women tend to share their income with others more than men. However, the rigidity of microfinance programs does little to enhance female political empowerment. Thus, it is important to go beyond the mainly economics-centred literature and to draw on examples from less developed countries and to propose ways of overcoming the programs’ weaknesses. As a result, a positive correlation between targeting women with microfinance programs has to be found that consistently decreases overall poverty.

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