Women in Rural Micro Finance Programme in the Western Hills of Nepal: Reflection from Sahakarya Project Area

Paper presented at the Microfinance Summit, February 14-16, 2008, Kathmandu, Nepal
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This paper analyzes the impact of Nepal’s rural finance program in empowering women by using data from the Sahakarya Project, implemented by the Center for International Studies and Cooperation (CECI) in five districts of mid and far-western Nepal.

The main objective of rural finance is to increase rural people’s access to financial services to undertake income generating activities and improve their livelihoods. To facilitate this process, both, government and non-government organizations in Nepal have launched various programs, one of them being the Sahakarya Project. Study findings indicate that:

  • Rural microfinance program has empowered women and disadvantaged group (DAG) people to access credit services in rural areas;
  • Women’s general membership in the organization determines representation in the working committee;
  • Adopting more favorable policies and positive discrimination strategies would help increase the number of women and DAG members.

Study findings indicate that the Sahakarya Project approach in promoting rural microfinance to enhance access of women and other DAG people to financial services in rural area is effective and can be replicated.

About this Publication

By Sharma, M. , Thapa, P.