The promise of microfinance and women’s empowerment

7 May, 2014

The promise of microfinance and women’s empowerment; What does the evidence say?


How has microfinance evolved over the years and what is the role of women in microfinance. These two topics are brought to light in the paper “The promise of microfinance and women’s empowerment’’ published by Ernst & Young. This paper discuses what the potential and limits of microfinance are and how reformations can be achieved through research and practice.

Today a large number of people still do not have access to financial services. About 80 percent of the microfinance industry clients are women i.e. clients that live under a $1.25 a day. However, only 37 percent of women report to have financial access while 46 percent of men receive financial services. This gap, amongst others, is one of the problems that are being faced by the sector.

Some of the conclusions made in this paper are that the microfinance sector in comparison to other social sectors can easily be improved, because of its willingness to use stringent evaluation methods. There is a lot being done to close the gender gap however there is still a long way to go to reach a position where women and men have equal access to financial services.  Through collaborations of leaders both in research and practice, it is concluded also that a lot is being achieved and can still be achieved in this sector.


Download here the paper The promise of microfinance and women’s empowerment by Dina Pomeranz and Ernst & Young.


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