Fact and Fiction: Examining Microcredit/Microfinance from a Feminist Perspective
Soma Kishore Parthasarathy
Within development debates — and particularly discussions on women's "empowerment" — microcredit has and continues to be touted as a tool to reduce poverty and empower women. AWID asked feminist researcher, activist, and practitioner, Soma K. Parthasarathy, to share her experiences, reflections and analysis in a primer examining microcredit from a critical feminist perspective.
This piece, which draws from Parthasarathy's extensive work on microcredit (within the context of engendering development and advancing sustainable livelihoods), provides, first, a definition of microcredit, then situates the tool both historically and within present debates on development and economics and finally discusses its impact on particular groups of women.