The Women’s Poverty–Empowerment Nexus: Engendering Microfinance in the Global Political Economy

Author: 
Date created: 
2014-06-06
Identifier: 
etd8436
Keywords: 
Women’s poverty-empowerment nexus
Microcredit
Microfinance
Poverty reduction
Gender
Development
Neoliberalism
Governmentality
Abstract: 

The creation of the women’s poverty-empowerment nexus in development discourses has legitimized the widespread use of microfinance. Despite the success of microfinance in supplying credit, the evidence to suggest it has substantially reduced poverty and increased women’s empowerment is mixed. This thesis examines the link between trends in the global political economy, microfinance, and gender. To reveal this link, a critical discourse analysis of development discourses and a content analysis of impact studies of the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh and BancoSol in Bolivia are employed to assess the gap between rhetoric and impacts of microfinance. Insights gained from Tanzania provide a deeper understanding as to why, despite the success of microfinance in delivering credit, poverty and gender inequality persist. This research reveals that far from addressing economic and social inequality, microfinance exists and functions within gendered power structures and relationships rather than resolving them.

Document type: 
Thesis
Rights: 
Copyright remains with the author. The author granted permission for the file to be printed, but not for the text to be copied and pasted.
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Habiba Zaman
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.
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