The Role of Microfinance for Empowerment of Poor Women in Yemen

Understanding how microfinance affects women empowerment in Yemen
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The paper identifies challenges facing empowerment of women in Yemen. It is based on secondary data collected from the records of Yemeni Government Programs including the Social Fund for Development, microfinance books, websites, official reports, and other sources related to the research subject. The report focuses on the period between 1997 and 2013 and finds that there are multiple factors affecting the empowerment of women such as customs and traditions, high interest rates, financial literacy, wrong religious perceptions, and collateral demands. However, despite the difficulties and challenges facing women empowerment in Yemen, women who are connected to microfinance programs are positively affected. The paper provides suggestions for improving microfinance schemes for women. These include:

  • There should be regular training programs for microfinance women clients to provide them with the required consultation and technical training;
  • There is a necessity to work on the development of special products and services for women;
  • MFIs should focus on educating poor people especially women about the need and importance of microfinance especially for unbanked;
  • Commercial banks have to downscale their activities to reach to unbanked women clients;
  • There should be serious cooperation between the Islamic MFIs and traditional MFIs.

About this Publication

By Alshebami, A.S. & Khandare, D.M.