In today’s society it is hard for women to secede and gender inequality makes this much harder. In attempts to make this better and help lower poverty levels, a program name Microcredit was born. The question now is can Microcredit be productive in reducing poverty levels or empowering women?
Microcredit is a program where people that are poor, especially woman, are given small loans without collateral to start their own business. The loans are meant to generate or support self-employment and with that empower women and help alleviate poverty. The problem with this is that the loans are given to women who in turn go home to their husbands, who usually make all the financial decisions, to allow him to do what he sees fit with the money. So the question remains. How could targeting women lead to equality and empowerment if gender hierarchies are left unaddressed? (Visvanathan and Yoder p.52)
This program may also fall short of helping decline poverty rates. Women who live in poverty are allowed to receive these loans with the agreement of paying them back. Group members, other women who have also received loans, put pressure on other women to make timely payments. (Visvanathan and Yoder p.53) Then to make the timely payment these women are borrowing more money to pay off the loan. This creates a viscous cycle of money borrowing and puts an already poverty stricken family in debt. This seems to me to only make things worse.
Although Microcredit has the best intentions on empowering women and elevating poverty, it has fallen short of its goal. Woman are more in debt and feel less empowered then before. I am sure this program has worked for some but it’s not enough for women in general. This program however could possible work with more education for the loan recipients.