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Can Microfinance lead to Women Empowerment

Microfinance is recognized internationally as a tool to combat poverty and augment rural development by creating awareness and empowering women which ultimately results in the sustainable development of the nation. As per the census, women have been the most underserved, underprivileged and discriminated strata of the society around the globe.

Empowering women begins with changing the power dynamics and other societal, traditional and cultural factors that repress women. Empowerment requires addressing women’s lack of control over their own lives. This control is directly related to their lack of financial power and inclusiveness. Several studies around the globe suggest that women's empowerment is linked to financial inclusion and no amount of social programs can motivate women to step out of their houses until and unless they are financially independent.

Government and financial institutions now understand the necessity to uplift women by financially including them. It acts as the first step towards empowering them and pulling them out of poverty and reliance on societal and structural conditions. Micro financiers and Self Help Groups (SHGs) assist women, especially in rural India, in availing micro-credit and other financial services boosting their businesses and financial status. They help women deal with socio-economic challenges.

It has always been difficult for women to avail business loans at affordable rates and the lack of credit acts as a roadblock for women trying to build their businesses. Microfinance institutions, with their last-mile physical and digital connections, can help women entrepreneurs to overcome these challenges. As per reports, 77% of women have a bank account with a financial institution and as per the Global Findex Survey, only 5% of Indian women with bank accounts receive bank loans.

Worldwide, microfinance loans serve almost 20 million people living in poverty and 74% of these individuals are women. In India, 99% of the total microfinance beneficiaries are women. There is a far more social value generated when women access formal credit. It offers women the chance to enter the public sphere as businesswomen, expanding their roles beyond social boundaries. Moreover, as women participate in the economy, they become more involved socially and politically.

Here’s a graph that explains how the Microfinance Industry’s Gross Loan Portfolio (GLP) has progressed against the number of clients since 2019 and benefitted the underprivileged-

Microfinance is recognized internationally as a tool to combat poverty and augment rural development by creating awareness and empowering women which ultimately results in the sustainable development of the nation. As per the census, women have been the most underserved, underprivileged and discriminated strata of the society around the globe.

Empowering women begins with changing the power dynamics and other societal, traditional and cultural factors that repress women. Empowerment requires addressing women’s lack of control over their own lives. This control is directly related to their lack of financial power and inclusiveness. Several studies around the globe suggest that women's empowerment is linked to financial inclusion and no amount of social programs can motivate women to step out of their houses until and unless they are financially independent.

Government and financial institutions now understand the necessity to uplift women by financially including them. It acts as the first step towards empowering them and pulling them out of poverty and reliance on societal and structural conditions. Micro financiers and Self Help Groups (SHGs) assist women, especially in rural India, in availing micro-credit and other financial services boosting their businesses and financial status. They help women deal with socio-economic challenges.

It has always been difficult for women to avail business loans at affordable rates and the lack of credit acts as a roadblock for women trying to build their businesses. Microfinance institutions, with their last-mile physical and digital connections, can help women entrepreneurs to overcome these challenges. As per reports, 77% of women have a bank account with a financial institution and as per the Global Findex Survey, only 5% of Indian women with bank accounts receive bank loans.

Worldwide, microfinance loans serve almost 20 million people living in poverty and 74% of these individuals are women. In India, 99% of the total microfinance beneficiaries are women. There is a far more social value generated when women access formal credit. It offers women the chance to enter the public sphere as businesswomen, expanding their roles beyond social boundaries. Moreover, as women participate in the economy, they become more involved socially and politically.

Here’s a graph that explains how the Microfinance Industry’s Gross Loan Portfolio (GLP) has progressed against the number of clients since 2019 and benefitted the underprivileged-

Apart from microcredit, microfinance institutions also offer micro-insurance, micro-savings, micro-pensions to poverty-stricken individuals to uplift their financial conditions. As per studies, women are more likely to spend the money they receive on their families and children as compared to men. Hence, empowering women is directly related to offering better prospects to the family and children as well.

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