Case Study

Micro Finance and Empowerment of Scheduled Caste Women: An Impact Study of SHGs in Uttar Pradesh and Uttaranchal

How do scheduled caste women benefit from SHG membership?
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This study examines the impact of microfinance on the socio-economic empowerment of rural Scheduled Caste women in the Indian States of Uttar Pradesh and Uttaranchal.

The Indian government’s recent initiatives to streamline credit operations through microfinance and its strengthening of self-help groups (SHGs) could help revive the rural economy and empower the rural poor. The study covers a sample of 224 SHGs. Findings indicate that:

  • SHG members’ main motivation from saving is to secure the future;
  • SHGs have initiated community development projects;
  • Only 48 percent of SHGs have initiated income generating activities;
  • SHG members’ contribute significantly to family income;
  • Training programs helped build confidence, develop skills, maintain bank linkages and develop managerial efficiency and productivity, although only half of the respondents received training and orientation for capacity building;
  • SHG’s made members aware of their rights and entitlements, enabled members’ participation in development programs and helped them become active participants in the decision making process.

The study highlights the need to develop a multi-pronged strategy to address women’s self-employment and training packages for women’s entrepreneurship development. It recommends development of appropriate microfinance regulation.

About this Publication

By BL Centre for Development Research and Action