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Advantages of Micro-credit lending Programs and the Human Capabilities Approach for Womens Poverty Reduction and Increased Human Rights in Bangladesh Dr.

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Presentation on theme: "Advantages of Micro-credit lending Programs and the Human Capabilities Approach for Womens Poverty Reduction and Increased Human Rights in Bangladesh Dr."— Presentation transcript:

1 Advantages of Micro-credit lending Programs and the Human Capabilities Approach for Womens Poverty Reduction and Increased Human Rights in Bangladesh Dr. Kazi Abdur Rouf Social Economy Centre University of Toronto Paper presented International Interdisciplinary GWO2012 Conference Keele University, Staffordshire, UK 27th -29th June 2012.

2 Marginalized womens sufferings in Bangladesh 76 % of poor women are unable to fulfill their basic human needs Suffering from access to food, clothing, shelter, health and higher education Lack of equality in family/kinship resources Forced marriage, dowry marriages and teen marriages Women trafficking Gender inequality: Inequality in family space and community space Violence against women Lack of access to financial services especially access to credit Money lenders exploitations Inequity in wages

3 Marginalized womens sufferings in Bangladesh -continued-2 Feminization of poverty is increasing Largely impeded their socio-economic development Depend on others to survive Patriarchal domination through culture, norms, values, customs, traditions and religion. Lack of physical, social and cultural security; no social safety net Lack of physical mobility, economic, cultural and social mobility Living in miserable and unhygienic conditions Suffering from injustice and exploitations Resulting inequality of women human rights

4 Factors effecting women human rights External factors Post-colonization effect Globalization Free market economy Structural adjustment Legal laws and systems: court, police and other judicial agencies Religious fundamentalists customs Weak civil society Lack of good governance Patriarchy

5 Factors effecting women human rights Internal factors Gender inequality in family values No decision making power Subordination of male members of the family No self-actualization Islamic sharia law Customary heritage laws No land property rights Patrimonial customs Dowry Religious family laws Resulted no status and no power

6 Factors effecting women human rights, continue-2 Internal factors Purdah Confine women within home Isolated from community networking Discouraged from working outside of the home Discourage womens physical mobility outside of home; discouraged from going to the market and other public places Family decision making practices Traditional family values Gender preferences Stereotyping mindset

7 Human capability services Education Health Family services Community services Human capital development: Basic literacy adult education Vocational and humanities skills, Self-esteem development supports Economic capital development: Access to family resources Community resources State financial resources

8 Human capability services - continued 2 Social capital development Networking Community support Womens empowerment Civic capital development Citizenship skills development Leadership development Participation in community decision making process

9 Concept of Capability Approach It is about individual well-being Inclusion of social arrangements Design of social policies Proposals about social change in society. What people are effectively able to do and to be with their capabilities

10 Amartya Sen Five Components Capability Initially Sen argued for five components in assessing capability: The importance of real freedoms in the assessment of a person's advantage Individual differences in the ability to transform resources into valuable activities The multi-variate nature of activities giving rise to happiness A balance of materialistic and non materialistic factors in evaluating human welfare Concern for the distribution of opportunities within society

11 Nussbaum s Ten list of Capabilities Nussbaum proposes a concrete list of capabilities, composed of 10 categories: (1) Life (2) Bodily health (3) Bodily integrity (4) Senses, imagination and thought (5) Emotions (6) Practical reason (7) Affiliation (8) Other species (9) Play (10) Control over ones environment.

12 Contrasting of different capability approaches Nussbaum does not endorse the agency–well-being distinction that Sen advocates. Although Sen promotes both individual and institutional development for human capabilities development, however, both are academicians Literature on the capability approach has been growing exponentially in recent years Debates on the capability approaches: Debates 1: T he capability approach is too individualistic It does not consider individuals as part of their social environment and connected to others Instead, the capability approach works with a notion of atomized individuals.

13 Debates in capability approaches Debates 2: The capability approach does not pay sufficient attention to groups. Debates 3: The capability approach does not pay sufficient attention to social structures. (Ingrid Robeyns, 2005).

14 Alternative approaches WIB approaches WAD approaches GAD approaches EAD approaches CAD approaches Western feminism strategies Consciousness raising through story telling among women Violence suffering Mainly focus on dismantling of patriarchy

15 Western feminism strategies: debates Do not emphasize the feminization of poverty Related to other sufferings (socio-economic, and environmental factors) Identify no praxis strategies

16 Grameen Bank group-based micro-financing program: Alternative praxis example in Bangladesh Grameen Bank group based micro-financing and other micro- financing programs (MCPs) GB Sixteen Decisions SME programs in the world are programs Initiated to combat the feminization of poverty and basic women human rights

17 MCPs and SME programs contribute to disadvantaged womens empowerment in Bangladesh Awareness about various familial, community and national level issues Become economic actors, community actors, social/civic actors in the family and in the community Participate in the family and local councils decision making practices Join advocacy programs, protests and making petitions in non- violent communication

18 Mini Cooperatives contributions to WHRD Mini cooperatives through micro-financing and SMEs contributing to disadvantaged womens empowerment Make a platform for sharing their socio-economic and environmental experiences among them at the grass roots levels through mini- cooperatives Improve socio-economic status, choice and voice in their families and communities

19 Challenges of MCPs for women human rights development Inclusion of gender development agenda Citizenry skills development education and vocational education Engage in violence against women protests and action programs No Link, support and advocacy for disadvantaged women with legal agencies services Joint risk takers

20 Value proposition for women human rights development The capability approaches are interdisciplinary in character and focus on the plural or multidimensional aspects of wellbeing (Ingrid Robeyns, 2005). Include all family members in the women human rights campaigns Development workshops, trainings and symposiums Designed and implement programs for poor women human rights development Social capital development programs

21 Value proposition for women human rights development continue-2 Women human rights non-formal and informal adult learning Family life skills Basic literacy education Vocational education Facilitate and support social networking at the family level, community level and national level Liberal religious education, gender education to religious leaders, rural elites, and formal community leaders.

22 Value proposition for women human rights development continue-3 Organize workshops, seminars on women human rights education exclusively for rural poor women by local resources persons Include poor women representatives (addition to formally elected representatives) in the local councils, sub districts and national levels Quota for marginalized women on formal councils at the local and national levels Include gender development agenda in the MCPs, SMEs and community development NGOs, local government agencies Provide collateral free financial services and gender learning to exclusively poor womens families

23 Women human rights development among Bangladeshi underprivileged women Initiate holistic womens development program with an inclusive gender sensitization campaign Promote legal aid for underprivileged women Promote e-virtual networking among rural women Support and facilitate actions against dowry and women trafficking

24 Women human rights development for Bangladeshi underprivileged women -continue 2 Facilitate link between women micro borrowers with other community development agencies/women advocacy programs in Bangladesh Joint taskforce program for violence against disadvantaged women through Department of Women Affairs, Palli Karma Shahauk Foundation (PKSF) Credit Development Forum (CDF) Other taskforce action programs through other apex organizations Direct legal action against violence against rural women in Bangladesh Post-follow up of the consequences of the legal action Open victims centers at the District and Up-zilla (sub-district) levels

25 Questions/Suggestions Thank you

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