Promoting Inclusive Markets and Financial Systems
2012 Annual Meeting
The Gender Working Group met this year during the 2012 SEEP Annual Conference. Read the notes from the meeting.
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There has always been a debate on whether to lend to women or men in the context of which will have a wider reach and benefit society. The paper examines this debate by analyzing recent literature on microfinance activities in Nigeria. It uses the chi-square non-parametric method of analysis to test hypothesis differentials. Findings include:
-- There is no confirmation that extending microfinance to women alone or more than men will benefit society more;
-- Giving more microfinance access to women definitely empowers them, but implications of this finding on African social structure are unclear.
-- The above finding raises fundamental questions about the purpose of microfinance as a poverty alleviation tool. The study recommends that Nigerian MFIs should target clients based on poverty levels, instead of gender.