Women and Microcredit
This presentation addresses the current approach to women's empowerment, fostered by the World Bank. Microcredit programs, seen by the development community as a single package to both tackle poverty and deliver rights to women, are here criticized for subverting the women's movement. Kalyani Menon-Sen gives an analysis of micro-credit that sees it as providing a safety valve for the current world economic system, by providing entry for capital into new decentralized markets, that is, to poor women. It has done this in the name of womens justice, while not actually talking about women's rights. Rather, it sees women as economic actors who are the most cost effective and flexible means to buffer the shocks of reduced social spending. In the process, real changes for women that address social and cultural contexts as well as economic aspects, are ignored and more fundamentally undermined.
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