Empowering and Shaping Gender relations? Contesting the Microfinance-Gender Empowerment Discourse

Emmanuel Kumi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)


This paper critically examines the role of microfinance in shaping gender relations and empowerment outcomes for women. One aim for advancing credit to women is to empowerment them thereby increasing their bargaining power and challenging existing gender subordination. We caution this view and instead show that the mainstream argument is much more complex than what the popular rhetoric preaches. We argue that lack of a systematic strategy to incorporate men and the wider sociocultural
dynamics within which women are domiciled radically the empowerment potential of microcredit programmes and in some context may lead to unintended consequences for women.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)895-908
JournalDevelopment in Practice
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2015



  • Microfinance, Labour and livelihoods

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