Academic journal article The Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences

Socio-Political Empowerment of Women through Micro Finance

Academic journal article The Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences

Socio-Political Empowerment of Women through Micro Finance

Article excerpt

Introduction

Basically a woman's role is as important as a man's role in providing stability to the family and development of the country. She, too, is entitled to the same rights and privileges as her counterpart, however, the under developed nations present a different scenario. In Pakistan too, women suffer from all forms of poverty and discrimination and are spellbound in a maze of enslavement and subordination due to their position in the household. They don't enjoy the same standing as men in many respects and participate only in controlled tasks in national and socioeconomic development (Rehman, 2007). The empowerment of women involves deliberate efforts. It can be achieved by eradicating prejudice against women, modifying the social institutions that do not help women and policies for the assurance of equivalent rights. It is an elaborate structural change which will add to the contribution of women in creative activities of the economy and then will lead to the common welfare of the community. Empowerment can be societal, political or monetary and is significant at the personal and community level (khan, 2010).

Access to credit can contribute to breaking up the poverty trap by enabling them to borrow money for gainful investments, save money for future expenses and gain access to insurance schemes. The provision of small loans to women for income creation can enhance their financial and social position in the community and in the family (Jamal, 2008)

Main Objectives

The main objectives of the study are as under;

1 To analyse the relationship between microfinance and women's decisionmaking regarding socio-political activities in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

2 To determine the impact of microfinance on women's freedom of mobility in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Literature Review

Rowlands (1997) explained that empowerment has two major aspects that can explain whether or not women benefit from using micro financial resources. They are personal empowerment and political empowerment with decision-making power being focus of the empowerment state. Kumar (2013) in his study has defined that empowerment involves development in social and physical situations, along with decision making ability and power over resources and system for nourishing these benefits. Malik and Luqman (2005) defined empowerment as the procedure in which one has command over one's life economically, socially and politically. Microfinance also brings self-confidence among women participants as well as improves gender relations causes' reduction in family violence and accelerates economic empowerment. Their status within the family and community improves. Cheston and Kuhn (2002) found that although micro finance does not concentrate on all obstacles to women empowerment, yet its programs could make a significant contri bution to women's empowerment. It also empowers them socially and politically. Pitt and Khandkar (1996) explain that loans play an imperative role in social, economic, and political improvement of the condition of women. Suresh and Lakshmisha (2013) revealed that it had the possibility to improve the welfare of deprived women in less developed countries. Microfinance program in India had been gradually endorsed to empower women. Microfinance helped in lifting women out of poverty and getting economic and political empowerment within their household, and community as well. Ruchi (2012) examined the impact of microfinance on socio-economic empowerment of women Self-Help Groups (SHGs) members in Nainital. She observed that after joining the group there was considerable improvement in asset building capacity of women. Their income level had increased which implied increase in household expenditures. The decision making ability of women participants had also increased. This led them to contribute in political and social activities

Methodology

The main purpose of the study is to examine the effect of microfinance on sociopolitical empowerment of women; therefore, population of the study consists of women who had borrowed from selected microfinance institutions. …

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