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How can we make microfinance more useful to women © Linda Mayoux 2012 Slide 1 Linda Mayoux How Can We Make Microfinance More Useful to Women?
How can we make microfinance more useful to women © Linda Mayoux 2012 Slide 2 Why gender mainstreaming? Women are at least half the population Women’s human rights Poverty reduction Economic growth Financial sustainability of FSPs
How can we make microfinance more useful to women © Linda Mayoux 2012 Slide 3 Microfinance and disempowerment: potential vicious circles ALL ASSUMPTIONS MUST BE QUESTIONED WOMEN’S ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT INCREASED INCOME WOMEN’S ECONOMIC ACTIVITY CONTROL OVER INCOME AND RESOURCES ECONOMIC GROWTH ACCESS TO MARKETS ENTERPRISE GROWTH WOMEN’S DECISION ABOUT SAVINGS AND CREDIT USE SAVINGS AND CREDIT REPAYMENT HOUSEHOLD WELL-BEING Nutrition Health Literacy Happiness HOUSEHOLD INCOME UNDER WOMEN’S CONTROL WOMEN’S WELL-BEING CHILDREN’S WELL-BEING POVERTY REDUCTION MEN’S WELL-BEING WOMEN’S HUMAN RIGHTS WOMEN’S SOCIAL AND POLITICAL EMPOWERMENT CONFIDENCE AND SKILLS (POWER WITHIN, POWER TO) IMPROVED STATUS AND CHANGING ROLES MOBILITY AND NETWORKS (POWER WITH) POWER TO CHALLENGE AND CHANGE INEQUALITIES (POWER OVER) ??
How can we make microfinance more useful to women © Linda Mayoux 2012 Slide 4 Pakistan: complexity Gender inequality has serious consequences for women, children and men Many women and also men want change Microcredit intervention has no effect on the bargaining power of women within the household for child related, health, economic and social mobility decisions; Microcredit intervention can empower women in household decisions where they are usually least empowered, such as decisions relating to purchases of large and expensive consumer goods. But impacts can be negative
How can we make microfinance more useful to women © Linda Mayoux 2012 Slide 5 Gender Mainstreaming Framework Do no harm Including women Women’s empowerment Gender transformation
How can we make microfinance more useful to women © Linda Mayoux 2012 Slide 6 Do No Harm Products and services for women should not make women worse off Products and services for men should not make women worse off o Reinforce men’s authority as head of household o Reinforce men’s formal ownership of property as collateral o Reinforce men’s access to women’s property and assets as collateral/ source of funds Products and services should not replace adequate state provision of education, health care and basic services
How can we make microfinance more useful to women © Linda Mayoux 2012 Slide 7 Including women Equitable and non-discriminatory access to ALL forms of financial services Women are not one category o Very poor women and very disadvantaged women eg graduation for the ultra-poor from grants linked to training and employment creation o Small, medium and large entrepreneurs – problem of the missing middle o Women in service industries and wage employment o Girls and young unmarried women o Older women
How can we make microfinance more useful to women © Linda Mayoux 2012 Slide 8 Women’s empowerment Beyond small increases in income and bargaining power and ‘addressing needs’ Increase in asset ownership eg loans for assets registered in women’s names Increased capacity to enter new markets and use new technology, including loans for services benefiting women Increased security in old age eg savings, pensions Loans for adolescent girls and changing the dowry system
How can we make microfinance more useful to women © Linda Mayoux 2012 Slide 9 Gender transformation Asset loans for men tied to registration of ownership in joint or women’s names (for security) Savings products for men for girl’s education/marriage and encourage men’s responsibility for the household Application processes to question and challenge gender relations in the household eg not assume men are ‘heads of household’
How can we make microfinance more useful to women © Linda Mayoux 2012 Slide 10 A financially sustainable strategy Steps which all FSPs can take: ‘Walking the talk’: organizational gender policy Participatory market research for empowering products Gender justice mainstreaming in non-financial services Building on group activities/client networks for action learning and collective action Macro-level focus and advocacy
How can we make microfinance more useful to women © Linda Mayoux 2012 Slide 11 Organisational Mainstreaming: all levels Vision and institutional culture Mainstreaming women’s language Application processes for products Equal opportunity policies for staff Recruitment, training and promotion policies Information systems Using forms of communication and modes of delivery accessible to women
How can we make microfinance more useful to women © Linda Mayoux 2012 Slide 12 Enabling environment: networks, governments, donors and investors Funding agencies could promote: sectoral research on gender impacts of different models in the financial sector, including commercialisation. sectoral learning and capacity-building networks for innovation to increase women’s empowerment at all levels financial and enterprise education with a women’s empowerment perspective in schools and educational establishments gender mainstreaming in national and international business/financial training at practitioners and tertiary level gender experts and women’s organizations in designing financial regulations and consumer protection intersectoral linkages and advocacy to mainstream gender justice in economic policy and planning
How can we make microfinance more useful to women © Linda Mayoux 2012 Slide 13 WEMAN Gender Justice Protocol mandates, vision and objectives removal of all forms of gender discrimination in access to all financial products and nonfinancial services financial services for women and men contribute to gender justice non-financial services for women and men promote gender justice gender indicators are an integral part of social performance management and market research. consumer protection and regulatory policies integrate gender equality of opportunity and empowerment. gender advocacy very poor and vulnerable women are included organisational gender policies support these strategies 13
How can we make microfinance more useful to women © Linda Mayoux 2012 Slide 14 Questions?? RESOURCES http://www.wemanresources.info Gender Mainstreaming/Financial Services
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