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Microfinance and Gender Equality: Are We Getting There?
by Irene Mutalima in 2006
This paper recognizes the benefits that accrue to households as women are better empowered financially, but also laments the need for more radical approaches to counter what might seem like inertia to fully engage women's empowerment in microfinance. In this context, women's empowerment relates to increasing access to credit and other financial services that enable women to increase their incomes as they can better improve themselves and their families. There is enough evidence that designing gender-sensiive products will add to the development of the bottom line, but cardinal questions remain: why isn't the microfinance industry doing better in gender equality? What needs to be done to improve the situation?