South Asian Studies, Vol 30, No 1 (2015)

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Role of Microfinance Institutions in Women Empowerment: A Case Study of Akhuwat, Pakistan

Huma Rehman, Dr. Amani Moazzam, Nighat Ansari


Gender discrimination is a persistent problem faced by women all over the world, which has ledto the need to empower women for uplifting their status as recognized by Millennium Development Goals (2010). The present study focuses on the role of microfinance in empowering women and also acknowledges its’ significance in alleviating poverty. The researcher used qualitative approach and case study method for in depth analysis of the phenomenon in context of Akhuwat, an interest free microfinance organization. It was recognized that microfinance brings about changes in women’s lives: household condition, family wellbeing and social status. It is improved by availing the services of microfinance institution and interest free loans further add to their well-being. Present study focused on four background variables to examine their influence on decision making ability of women in aspects of their domestic and social life. Age, education, marital status and family type are important contributing factors that influence women’s empowerment. It was also observed that women are more inclined to be altruistic and spend most of their income on their families. The present study can be further extended by incorporating more factors and increasing sample size in order to get more significant results.

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