The Paradox of Microfinance and Women’s Empowerment

  • Faraha Nawaz


This chapter highlights the paradox of microfinance and women’s empowerment. As NGOs have assumed wider roles, there has been simultaneous growth in the debate and controversy surrounding them, not only in Bangladesh but also globally. While some researchers agree that the effects are positive, others disagree about the true impact seems to depend on how microfinance programs are implemented. Among various programs launched by NGOs, at the world-wide level microfinance is regarded as one of the most promising tools for development, but despite this global renown, it has not been free from criticism. The debate is particularly fierce when the role microfinance plays in empowering women is taken into consideration. There is hardly any consensus on its role in women’s empowerment and this inspired me to conduct research in this particular field. This chapter also highlights a range of literature relevant to the role of microfinance programs and how these have impacted on women’s empowerment. The literature review identifies a gap in current understanding and discusses both the strengths and weaknesses of methodologies that previous researchers have used in the literature under review.


Theoretical paradox Theoretical frame Borrowers Positive arguments Counter arguments Empowerment 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Faraha Nawaz
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Public AdministrationUniversity of RajshahiRajshahiBangladesh

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