Empowerment of Women Through Microfinance: The Significance of Self-Help Groups

Empowerment of Women Through Microfinance: The Significance of Self-Help Groups

Prity Purushottam Patilkale (Gondwana University, India), Shabana Haque (Shobhit University, India) and Sathya T. (International Institute for Population Sciences, India)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-6061-6.ch020

Abstract

One of the most popular goals of most of the development programs and especially of microfinance programs is empowerment of women. Empowerment is closely related to the concept of power, which can be understood in terms of “power to,” “power within,” “power with,” and “power over.” Empowerment can be judged at various levels such as at individual level, family level, and collective level. Microfinance has become an important component of development, poverty reduction, and economic regeneration strategy around the world. By the early 21st century, tens of millions of people in more than 100 countries were accessing services from formal and semi-formal microfinance institutions (MFIs).
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Development And Empowerment Of Women

Over the last few years, “people’s participation” and ‘Empowerment” has become the buzzwords in rural development and local planning. In this context, Self Help Group (SHG) has emerged as the most successful strategy, in the process of participatory development and empowerment of women. The rural women are the marginalized groups of our society. Due to the presence of socio – economic constraints in the rural areas, women’s potential for development remained far from fully utilized and they have been pushed further back into the social hierarchical system. The concept of Self Help Group (SHG) models women as a responsible citizen of the country achieving social and economic status. In all stages of economic and social activities, involvement of women has been added significance to them. Women led SHGs in many parts of the country have achieved success in bring the women to the mainstream of decision-making. The self Help Group (SHGs) in our country has become a source of inspiration for women welfare. Now days, formation of SHG is a viable alternative to achieve the objectives of rural development and to get community participation in all rural development programmes. SHG is also a viable organized set up to disburse micro credit to the rural women and encouraging them to enter into entrepreneurial activities. The Government launched Swarna Jayanthi Shahri Rojgar Yojana (SJSRY) on 1st December 1997. Self Help Groups have been funded under this SJSRY scheme for women empowerment in urban areas. All the SHGs (Under SJSRY) are women groups for the study.

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