Event Title

Women's Empowerment Through Microfinancing

College

College of Business Administration

Department

Department of Accounting, Finance, and Economics

Honors Thesis Committee

Willis Lewis, Ph.D.; Tracy Griggs, Ph.D.; and Jennifer Everhart, M.Ed.

Location

DIGS 221

Start Date

20-4-2018 2:00 PM

Description

For more than twenty years, the issue of women’s empowerment in developing nations has moved to the forefront of both government and non-government organization (NGO) agendas. It has been largely recognized that, historically, women in developing countries have been excluded from participating in the social, economic, and political development of these countries. In addition, frequently women’s rights are not protected, and they are therefore impeded from full economic and social participation. Empowering women leads to more stability and prosperity for families. One of the main tools being used to help empower women is microfinancing (small credit loans aimed at helping low-income women become more financially independent.) There is much debate within the microfinancing world as to the most effective way to administer these loans, and how best to measure the loans’ empowerment effectiveness. This thesis aims to compare the impact of a minimalistic versus holistic approach to microfinancing on the levels of women’s empowerment. This will be done by analyzing the two approaches through studies conducted across the globe in developing nations, based on specific criteria, as well performing a thorough cost-benefit analysis. Empowerment criteria were decided on through an examination of over fifteen studies done worldwide. A conclusion was drawn that a holistic approach to microfinancing is the best choice, resulting in the highest levels of empowerment for the women. It is recommended that all governments and NGOs implement a holistic approach to their microcredit programs.

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Apr 20th, 2:00 PM

Women's Empowerment Through Microfinancing

DIGS 221

For more than twenty years, the issue of women’s empowerment in developing nations has moved to the forefront of both government and non-government organization (NGO) agendas. It has been largely recognized that, historically, women in developing countries have been excluded from participating in the social, economic, and political development of these countries. In addition, frequently women’s rights are not protected, and they are therefore impeded from full economic and social participation. Empowering women leads to more stability and prosperity for families. One of the main tools being used to help empower women is microfinancing (small credit loans aimed at helping low-income women become more financially independent.) There is much debate within the microfinancing world as to the most effective way to administer these loans, and how best to measure the loans’ empowerment effectiveness. This thesis aims to compare the impact of a minimalistic versus holistic approach to microfinancing on the levels of women’s empowerment. This will be done by analyzing the two approaches through studies conducted across the globe in developing nations, based on specific criteria, as well performing a thorough cost-benefit analysis. Empowerment criteria were decided on through an examination of over fifteen studies done worldwide. A conclusion was drawn that a holistic approach to microfinancing is the best choice, resulting in the highest levels of empowerment for the women. It is recommended that all governments and NGOs implement a holistic approach to their microcredit programs.