A Review of Literature on Micro Finance and Women Empowerment

Beena George


Any strategy which aims to deal with the empowerment of the poor, that of women in particular, must be based on an understanding of and the ability to overcome the causes of the lack of power which lies behind it. A review of the literature suggests that there is much debate at the theoretical level as to what constitutes empowerment and how best it can be achieved. A large number of micro level studies have been undertaken so far by various scholars, institutions, NGOs, and sponsors of micro finance programmes highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of the programmes at international, national, and regional levels. The major themes of certain selected studies are reviewed in this paper. They are subdivided into four heads, viz. empowerment: conceptual analysis, micro finance at a glance, and impact of microfinance on women empowerment.


Empowerment; Microfinance; Women empowerment; Sustainability; Self help groups; Gender mainstreaming.

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