Rural Women's Access to Credit and Extension: A Strategy for Change

How can rural women gain access to key resources?

While rural women's contribution to agricultural and livestock production is well documented, they have had little or no access to productive inputs to enhance economic participation in these sectors.

Reviews performance of the few credit and extension programmes targeted at rural women by formal institutions including First Women's Bank Ltd, Agricultural Development Bank of Pakistan, Ministry of Women's Development and Co-operative System.

Findings provide basis for a broader strategy in improving access of rural women to resources. Key elements are:

  • Hire an extensive network of local female fieldworkers, even if relaxation in qualifications and age criteria is required;
  • Deployment of less qualified workers should be backed up by professional support;
  • Organize relatively homogenous women's groups as a means to distribute inputs;
  • Greater collaboration between NGOs, line departments and financial institutions should be promoted;
  • Experiment using pilots to identify designs of effective delivery mechanism;
  • Integrate women more into systems of formal financial institutions.

About this Publication

By Kazi, S. & Raza, B.