Academic journal article Researchers World

Does Microfinance Empower Rural Women? -a Empirical Study in Udaipur District, Rajasthan

Academic journal article Researchers World

Does Microfinance Empower Rural Women? -a Empirical Study in Udaipur District, Rajasthan

Article excerpt

ABSTRACT

Microfinance has come to play a major role in many gender and development strategies because of its direct relationship to both poverty alleviation and to the empowerment of women. Women are the most crucial elements of the social fabric and are playing a pivotal role in the socioeconomic scenario of Rajasthan. Microfinance programs like the SHGs in India have been promoted for their positive economic impact and the belief that they empower women.

Microfinance programs like the SHGs in India have been promoted for their positive economic impact and belief that they empower women. The survey was conducted on around 100 respondents from various SHGs of Udaipur district, Rajasthan and the analysis was done to study the empowerment of women through microfinance. The results strongly demonstrate that on an average, there is a significant increase in women empowerment of the Self Help Groups members. However, social backwardness, indebtedness and presence of other microcredit programs in the same or nearby villages have a significant positive influence on women's participation in this program.

Keywords: Microfinance; Women empowerment; Self Help Groups; Non Governmental Organization; Ordinal variables; Holistic development.

INTRODUCTION:

Microfinance program in India is growing rapidly and receiving increasing attention from the financial institutions, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and the Government, as an instrument that can transform lives of the poor. Microfinance is considered as a development tool to alleviate poverty in Asian, African and South American countries. Microfinance gives quick and tangible results to the poor people, especially women. Microfinance, when extended to people, especially women, in rural areas coupled with supporting activities like training, raw material supply, marketing of products leads to investment in micro enterprises, women may become entrepreneurs, generate main or additional income to the family, poverty is reduced, and development takes place and the women get the self confidence to go for enterprising activities with social, economic, and political empowerment and with her increased knowledge and awareness, development takes place. When the groups of people join as a group and are provided with empowerment leads to social and economic development in a holistic and sustainable manner.

India's development planning has always aimed at removing inequalities in the process of development, recognizing that women lag behind due to several socio economic, cultural and political factors and the five year plans have been paying attention to women's welfare, female education, and their access to resources and empowerment. From the 6th five year plan, women were recognized as a separate target group and govt. efforts are focused to raise their social, economic and political status at par with men. The field or microfinance made significant progress as a movement in our country, with the active support of RBI, NABARD, SIDBI, and NGOs microfinance emerged as a giant. The concept of Self Help Groups is not ultimately a micro credit projects, but an empowerment process. The Self Help Group and Microfinance are aimed at empowering poor women, which help the family to come out of poverty.

WHAT IS MICROFINANCE?

Microfinance is the provision of financial services to low income clients who traditionally lack access to banking and related services. It helps in reaching out to the vulnerable segments of the society like women, SC, ST which are outside the purview of formal institution. It is a form of financial development that has primarily focused on alleviating poverty through providing financial services which help poor to take up income generating activities and secondly it focuses on women empowerment.

EMPOWERMENT:

Empowerment literally means making someone powerful; facilitating the weak to attain strength, enabling someone to confront injustice and oppression. …

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