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Microfinance Is The Panacea For Gender Empowerment - Essay Example

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Microfinance contribute significantly to enhancing economic, social, and political empowerment. Some credit programs promote group formation and facilitate women to generate income, hence availing potential for both economic and political empowerment. …
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Microfinance Is The Panacea For Gender Empowerment
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"Microfinance Is The Panacea For Gender Empowerment"

Download file to see previous pages However, donors and advocates of microfinance constantly over-exaggerate the power of microfinance and related assistance while at the same time disregarding critical and deeply embedded concerns that can be regarded as apparent to the intertwining setback of poverty and empowerment of women. The present wave of euphoria over microfinance overlooks the salient question: since a majority of women has been inducted into microenterprises, why is women’s empowerment still elusive? It is apparent that microfinance is hardly a panacea for gender empowerment; besides, microfinance has failed to triumph over overbearing patriarchal structures that propel subordination of women at either households and/or society level.
The paper examines the assertion “microfinance is the panacea for gender empowerment”, the associated problems/concerns, and available proof and appreciates that micro lending plays a critical function in revolutionizing women’s economic empowerment; however, microfinance possesses the possibility of adversely affecting the general health of gender empowerment endeavours, especially if it exclusively spotlights the financial aspect of women’s empowerment. The paper discovers that there has been an exaggeration regarding the gender empowerment impact of microfinance. In practice, however, microfinance is only a step in the long road of empowering poor rural women and not a panacea for gender empowerment.
Remarkably, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution (A/60/210), recognizing the significance of microfinance in attaining the MDGs, outlining the significance of microfinance in attaining the MDGs, especially concerning goals 1 (reducing poverty) and goal 3 (revolving around gender parity and women’s empowerment). The accomplishment of some microlenders working with the poor, especially in Asia has put microlending high on the agenda of numerous development agencies. Numerous microfinance initiatives have been undertaken right from South America, to Asian and Africa, undoubtedly registering contrasting results (Onyuma and Shem 2005, p.199). Over the last two decades, microfinance initiatives have primarily been directed at poor women populations with the argument taking root on the question regarding whether microlending is, in essence, a decisive element to gender empowerment. This contest can be regarded as bordering west/south divide, and envelops theoretical analysis of studies touching on empowerment, especially on the link between microlending/microenterprise and gender empowerment that has constantly shaped microfinance discourse (Khandker 2005, p.263). The sociocultural landscape in target groups plays a critical function in shaping the results that can be derived from microenterprise projects and their relation to gender empowerment, rebutting one of the overriding hypotheses detailing that gender empowerment entails a routine result of micro lending (Mayoux 2002, p.77). In one phase of the continuum, proponents advance that microfinance bear constructive influences on aspects such as equality between genders, gender empowerment, and overall domestic/household wellbeing. In line with this thought, microfinance is considered as the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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