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REGIONAL CAPACITY DEVELOPMENT AND KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT FOR GENDER EQUALITY: IFAD/ FAO GRANT PROGRAMME. Gender and rural microfinance: Reaching and empowering women Linda Mayoux and Getaneh Gobazie. What is rural microfinance?. Diversity of institutional forms

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REGIONAL CAPACITY DEVELOPMENT AND KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT FOR GENDER EQUALITY:

IFAD/ FAO GRANT PROGRAMME

Gender and rural microfinance:

Reaching and empowering women

Linda Mayoux and GetanehGobazie

what is rural microfinance
What is rural microfinance?
  • Diversity of institutional forms
    • Community-based, self managed savings and credit
    • NGOs
    • Specialist MFIs
    • Agricultural and commercial banks
  • Diversity of financial products
    • Credit and leasing products
    • Saving and pensions
    • Insurance
    • Remittance transfers
  • Diversity of non-financial services
    • Livelihood and business development services
    • Institution building
aims of this capacity development
Aims of this capacity development
  • Give a clear understanding of gender issues in Rural Finance and possible ways forward
  • Provide a forum for exchange of experience and ideas between participants on effective strategies and innovation
  • Introduce additional resources and information available
  • Expand the network of institutions developing approaches and innovations on gender and microfinance
  • NO BLUEPRINTS: different types of organisation, products and services
  • Gender questions and issues to take forward to other ‘mainstream’ training
contents
Contents
  • Why is gender mainstreaming important in rural microfinance?
  • Institutional dimensions of mainstreaming gender equality and empowerment
  • Designing financial products: from access to empowerment
  • Non-financial services, participation and macro-level strategies: increasing empowerment
  • Promoting an enabling environment: issues for funding agencies
why is gender mainstreaming important
Why is gender mainstreaming important?
  • Women are at least half the rural population
  • Poverty reduction
  • Economic growth
  • Financial sustainability of microfinance providers
gender and micro finance evolution of debates

Gender equality and women’s empowerment marginalised in both financial sustainability and poverty targeting debates.

Gender and micro-finance: evolution of debates

2000 onwards split paradigms

1985 Nairobi women’s conference and lobbying by women’s movements for access to poverty-targeted credit programmes and cooperatives

.

1990s female

targeting for financial sustainability

1980s access topoverty-targeted credit

1970s credit for women’s economic empowerment

Increasing targeting of women in rapid expansion of large minimalist poverty-targeted MFIs like Grameen Bank, FINCA and ACCION

Self- Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) and setting up of the Women’s World Banking network.

rural finance and empowerment potential v irtuous spirals
Rural Finance and empowerment:Potential virtuous spirals

SAVINGS AND CREDIT

REPAYMENT

WOMEN’S DECISION ABOUT SAVINGS AND CREDIT USE

HOUSEHOLD INCOME UNDER WOMEN’S CONTROL

WOMEN’S ECONOMIC ACTIVITY

IMPROVED STATUS AND CHANGING ROLES

CONFIDENCE AND SKILLS (POWER WITHIN, POWER TO)

MOBILITY AND NETWORKS (POWER WITH)

INCREASED INCOME

ACCESS TO MARKETS

CHILDREN’S WELL-BEING

WOMEN’S WELL-BEING

WOMEN’S SOCIAL AND POLITICAL EMPOWERMENT

WOMEN’S ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT

HOUSEHOLD WELL-BEING

Nutrition

Health

Literacy

Happiness

CONTROL OVER INCOME AND RESOURCES

POWER TO CHALLENGE AND CHANGE INEQUALITIES (POWER OVER)

ENTERPRISE GROWTH

MEN’S WELL-BEING

WOMEN’S HUMAN RIGHTS

POVERTY REDUCTION

ECONOMIC GROWTH

questioning complacency
Questioning complacency

SAVINGS AND CREDIT

??Men may take loan

but!!!

REPAYMENT

??Women may give

the loan to men

WOMEN’S DECISION ABOUT SAVINGS AND CREDIT

questioning women s economic empowerment
Questioning women’s economic empowerment

SAVINGS AND CREDIT

REPAYMENT

WOMEN’S DECISION ABOUT SAVINGS AND CREDIT USE

WOMEN’S ECONOMIC ACTIVITY

?Diversion of loan to other uses

??Women may

work from home with

marketing by men

INCREASED INCOME

ACCESS TO MARKETS

WOMEN’S ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT

??Incomes may be very low

??All women’s income

May go for consumption

CONTROL OVER INCOME AND RESOURCES

ENTERPRISE GROWTH

??Men may control income

ECONOMIC GROWTH

questioning women s well being

??Women’s decisions may replicate gender inequality

??Women may forego

own consumption

??Men may withdraw

their contribution

to the household

Questioning women’s well-being

SAVINGS AND CREDIT

REPAYMENT

WOMEN’S DECISION ABOUT SAVINGS AND CREDIT USE

HOUSEHOLD INCOME UNDER WOMEN’S CONTROL

CHILDREN’S WELL-BEING

WOMEN’S WELL-BEING

??Girls may suffer

HOUSEHOLD WELL-BEING

Nutrition

Health

Literacy

Happiness

MEN’S WELL-BEING

POVERTY REDUCTION

questioning women s social and political empowerment

??May divert attention from

wider change

Questioning women’s social and political empowerment

SAVINGS AND CREDIT

REPAYMENT

WOMEN’S DECISION ABOUT SAVINGS AND CREDIT USE

??May replicate

and reinforce

existing roles

IMPROVED STATUS AND CHANGING ROLES

??Debt may

decrease confidence

CONFIDENCE AND SKILLS (POWER WITHIN, POWER TO)

MOBILITY AND NETWORKS (POWER WITH)

WOMEN’S SOCIAL AND POLITICAL EMPOWERMENT

??Women

may work

from home

POWER TO CHALLENGE AND CHANGE INEQUALITIES (POWER OVER)

WOMEN’S HUMAN RIGHTS

microfinance and disempowerment potential vicious circles

ALL ASSUMPTIONS MUST BE QUESTIONED

Microfinance and disempowerment:potential vicious circles

SAVINGS AND CREDIT

REPAYMENT

??

??

WOMEN’S DECISION ABOUT SAVINGS AND CREDIT USE

HOUSEHOLD INCOME UNDER WOMEN’S CONTROL

WOMEN’S ECONOMIC ACTIVITY

IMPROVED STATUS AND CHANGING ROLES

CONFIDENCE AND SKILLS (POWER WITHIN, POWER TO)

MOBILITY AND NETWORKS (POWER WITH)

INCREASED INCOME

ACCESS TO MARKETS

CHILDREN’S WELL-BEING

WOMEN’S WELL-BEING

WOMEN’S SOCIAL AND POLITICAL EMPOWERMENT

WOMEN’S ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT

HOUSEHOLD WELL-BEING

Nutrition

Health

Literacy

Happiness

CONTROL OVER INCOME AND RESOURCES

POWER TO CHALLENGE AND CHANGE INEQUALITIES (POWER OVER)

ENTERPRISE GROWTH

MEN’S WELL-BEING

WOMEN’S HUMAN RIGHTS

POVERTY REDUCTION

ECONOMIC GROWTH

what is women s empowerment

WomenPower within:confidenceaspirations

Men

Power toPower within

WHAT IS WOMEN’S EMPOWERMENT?

POWER WITH

Women:Power toskillsresources

GENDER MAINSTREAMING

ALLPOWER OVER= BAD

STRATEGIES FOR MENto changegender inequality

STRATEGIES FOR WOMENto change gender inequality

strategic gender framework

‘Smart subsidy’

Participatory empowerment process and targeted support for women. Involving men also in this change.

Also attention to crosscutting inequalitiesbetween women:

poverty, ethnicity, marital status, age, education, health status etc

STRATEGIC GENDER FRAMEWORK

EMPOWERMENT to make realisable and informed choices

Personal difference and choice

EQUITY of OUTCOMES

‘rich tapestry of life’

  • Enabling environment
  • to eliminate ‘power over’ requires not only removing discrimination but mainstreaming:
  • Intra-household- Non-market - Informal processes- Participatory structures

EQUALITY

of OPPORTUNITYnon-negotiable

+

elements of a financially sustainable strategy
Elements of a financially sustainable strategy
  • Mainstreaming women’s language conceptually and in actuality
  • ‘Walking the talk’: organizational gender policy
  • Participatory market research
  • Gender mainstreaming in non-financial services
  • Building on group activities for action learning
  • Macro-level focus and advocacy
organisational mainstreaming
Organisational Mainstreaming
  • Vision and institutional culture
  • Equal opportunity policies for staff
  • Recruitment, training and promotion policies
  • Information systems
  • Using forms of communication accessible to women
possible gender indicators
Possible gender indicators

CLIENT LEVEL

  • (all programmes) percentage of women clients who know and understand the terms of the MFI’s financial services
  • percentage of women clients with enterprise loans who are themselves working in the economic activity
  • (mixed-sex programmes) percentage of women accessing larger loans and higher-level services; percentage of women in leadership positions in group-based programmes;

STAFF LEVEL

  • percentage of senior staff who are women, and gender equality of pay;
  • existence of a written gender policy produced through a participatory process with staff; staff aware of its contents and mechanisms for implementation.
designing financial products
Designing Financial Products
  • loans
  • leasing arrangements
  • savings services
  • pensions
  • insurance
  • remittance transfer services
some types of loan and leasing products
Some types of loan and leasing products
  • Longer-term credit or leasing arrangements to build assets
  • Credit for investment in a variety of viable, profitable activities.
  • Consumption loans to avoid resorting to moneylenders in slack and ‘hungry’ seasons.
  • Households need loans to pay for children’s education and to meet social obligations
some innovations in loan products
Some innovations in loan products
  • Client-focused loans
  • Loans for assets registered in women’s names
  • Loans for adolescent girls and changing the dowry system
  • Loans for services benefiting women
  • Loan targeting of vulnerable and very poor women
  • Consumption loans for men as well as women
designing savings and pension products
Designing savings and pension products
  • Longer term savings for asset purchase
  • Short-term liquid savings for quick access
  • Pensions
some innovations in savings products
Some innovations in savings products
  • Personal savings accounts
  • Pension Savings
  • Flexible individual savings
  • Children’s savings card
  • Graduation from grants to savings linked to training and employment creation
demand driven product development
Demand driven product development
  • Participatory market research
  • Financial literacy
  • Combining the two linked to application for financial products
increasing empowerment
Increasing empowerment
  • Mainstreaming empowerment in core services
  • ‘Credit-plus’ non-financial services
  • Participatory approaches
  • Macro-level strategies
mainstreaming empowerment in core services
Mainstreaming empowerment in core services
  • Application process for products
  • Basic savings-and-credit training and group mobilization
  • Extension services and business advice sections
credit plus non financial services
‘Credit-plus’ non-financial services
  • Microfinance and literacy
  • Microfinance and health- and HIV/aids-awareness
  • Women’s rights training and legal aid
participation for empowerment
Participation for empowerment
  • Collective action on domestic violence
  • Internal learning system
  • Gender action learning system (GALS)
  • Supporting women’s property rights
  • Promoting women’s political participation
ways of meeting costs
Ways of meeting costs
  • Mutual learning and information exchange within groups
  • Implement a cross-subsidy
  • Encourage loans for service provision by microfinance clients or larger private firms
  • Inter-organizational collaboration between microfinance programmes and specialist providers
  • Operational integration of financial and non-financial services
macro level
Macro-level
  • Promoting gender mainstreaming and an empowerment focus in all actors in the sector
  • Consumer protection and regulatory frameworks
  • Value chain finance and linkages with economic development policies
  • Gender advocacy eg land and property rights, gender-based violence and women’s political participation.
promoting an enabling environment some possible roles for funding agencies
Promoting an enabling environment: some possible roles for funding agencies
  • Facilitate and support collaboration among the various types of rural finance providers
  • Promote and support monitoring and research on gender equality and empowerment
  • Promote learning and capacity-building networks
  • Ensure that gender experts and women’s organizations are involved in designing financial regulations and consumer protection legislation
  • Appraise the national training programmes
  • Mainstream gender in consumer protection
  • Promote intersectorallinkages among the financial, rural development planning and other agencies working for gender equity
conclusions

OPPORTUNITIES

  • Micro-finance programmes can make a significant contribution to women’s empowerment and gender equality
  • Gender equality and women’s empowerment are central to achievement of all other development goals.
  • Current innovations in SPM, technology, participatory methods and macro-level linkages
CONCLUSIONS

Questions

What are the implications for macro-level policy advocacy?

What are the implications for organisations themselves?

How can micro-finance support men’s role in change?

How can micro-finance groups build on and strengthen women’s own strategies and collective action?

What sorts of financial products and and non-financial services

are needed for empowerment?

RISKS

  • Microfinance may disempower and benefits cannot be assumed
  • Continuing marginalisation and resistance to gender mainstreaming within rural microfinance organisations and many funding agencies
  • Need for sustained capacity-building and innovation
questions
QUESTIONS?
  • Genfinance website: www.genfinance.info
  • Oxfam Novib’s WEMAN website www.wemanglobal.org
  • Rural Finance (search on gender) www.ruralfinance.org
  • Microfinance Gateway www.microfinancegateway.org/

Useful websites