Micro-Credit, Poverty and Empowerment

Linking the Triad

Neera Burra,

Micro-Credit, Poverty and Empowerment: Linking the Triad
 
 
Two persistent problems that affect a significant portion of Indian women are poverty and violation of their human rights. In recent years, micro-credit has come to be viewed as a vital tool to ameliorate both conditions. However, there are few studies in the Indian context which test the validity of the assumption that there is a linear link between micro-credit, poverty reduction and women`s empowerment. This important and thought provoking volume brings together revealing case studies of micro-credit interventions made by six non-governmental and quasi-governmental bodies in five states of peninsular India, several of which have been supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

The six case studies are diverse in terms of their socio-economic and geo-political contexts: the nature and ideological orientation of the intermediary organizations; the groups targeted by the projects (exclusively women or men and women); and the life-spans of the projects. Despite their differences, all the studies offer useful lessons on the institutional structures and processes that do or do not facilitate women`s empowerment and poverty reduction, while exploring the potential and limitations of micro-credit to achieve these twin goals.



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