Case Study

Micro Credit and Women's Empowerment: A Case Study of SML

How far does microcredit contribute to women's empowerment?
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This paper studies the microcredit program of SHARE Microfin Limited (SML), Andhra Pradesh, India, from the perspective of women's empowerment. It focuses on:

  • SML's viewpoint and approach;
  • Design and management of the program;
  • Changes in the lives and situations of the clientele as perceived by the poor.

As per the paper, SML's 'credit-for-income-generation' model for women groups leads to significant, first level improvements in the lives of women and their households.

  • The members perceive:
    • Increased income and assets in the hands of the poor women;
    • Greater control over resources: assets, earnings and savings;
    • Transformation from low wage workers to owner-managers;
    • Visible increase in self-confidence and self-worth;
    • Decrease in domestic violence and increased cooperation from family.
  • Local villages communities recognize women's collectives as:
    • Important sources of credit access and incomes;
    • A tool to approach officials and articulate village needs.

About this Publication

By Rajivan, A.