Women's empowerment in relation to microcredit programmes is a prominent issue in the literature of microcredit. Not only the founder of the Grameen Bank is awarded the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize on the microcredit programme of Bangladesh but it has also been a topic of great interest to researchers since its introduction in mid-1970s. This study views women's empowerment from an emancipation perspective. The study uses quasi-experimental approach to compare women's empowerment between microcredit borrowers and non-borrowers. Using control-group method (non-borrowers from non-programme villages), this study identifies factors that influence women's empowerment. It also examines the impact on women's empowerment of borrowers having different levels of income. Results show that non-borrowers are equally empowered as microcredit borrowers. It has also been found that age and education levels of women are significant factors in such an empowerment.
Sayma Rahman, P. Junankar, Girijasankar Mallik
Journal of the Asia Pacific Economy