NGO-promoted microcredit programs and women's empowerment in rural Bangladesh: quantitative and qualitative evidence

Ruhul Amin, Stan Becker, Abdul Bayes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

A growing number of NGOs in rural Bangladesh are reaching out to a vast multitude of poor women with collateral-free credit programs either by integrating them with their preexisting social welfare programs or by adding the welfare programs to the credit programs, thus providing a comprehensive range of services including consciousness-raising, functional literacy training, and group formation. It has been argued that the provision of such an integrated range of socioeconomic services not only reinforces the social and economic well-being or the poor women, but also empowers them. The data of the present study suggest that women's membership in NGO-promoted credit programs, their residence in an NGO program area and in nonsouthern and noneastern regions, their higher socioeconomic status, and their age tend to be positively associated with women's empowerment. Our indices of women's emplowerment are found to be significantly and positively associated with NGO credit membership and residence in an NGO program area. This significant positive relationship of women's emplowerment indices with NGO credit membership may stem from the poor women's participation in an NGO credit program.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)221-236
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Developing Areas
Volume32
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 22 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development

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