Date of Graduation
The provision of micro-credit for micro-enterprise development plays an important role in the alleviation and eradication of poverty. In particular, micro-credit programs have been shown to empower women by providing them access to material resources and increasing their participation in household decision-making. Some critics, however, claim that male family members control the loans women receive from credit programs and that women are merely a means for them to access money. Although it is widely believed that these programs are highly effective, there is a debate about the extent to which women are empowered and poverty within these families is reduced. This study attempts to provide more insight into this debate by examining the role of micro-enterprise credit in poverty alleviation and women's empowerment at both the household and community levels in Sri Lanka's Kandy district. The differential impact of credit on women's empowerment in various localities and with different socio-economic and cultural backgrounds is emphasized. The empowerment and bargaining theoretical approaches to gender and development are employed alongside participatory methodologies that include semi-structured interviews, gendered activity profiles, focus group interviews, and participant observation. Findings indicate that although access to credit was not enough to alleviate poverty, many women were empowered in their households and communities as their material circumstances improved and they gained confidence and skills.
Aladuwaka, Seela, "Credit programs, poverty alleviation and women's empowerment: A case study from Sri Lanka." (2003). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 8366.