Author(s): Amira Y Badri
Participation of women in productive activities is crucial for enhancing the economic status of the fa mily and for the overall empowerment of women. This study invest igates how micro-credit programs affect women’s empowerment from the credit beneficiaries’ perspect ives. Also, the study highlights the role of poor w omen in changing their life style by running small-micro bu siness activities through the loans granted to them by a non- profit organization under the Micro-credit Program. The study adopted a qualitative approach. The main findings of this study revealed that participation of women in micro-credit program helps in promoting women’s empowerment, in particular the economic and socio- cultural dimensions of empowerment. The targeted wo men became economically empowered by (1) having the ir own income, (2) contributing to household purchases and (3) financing the education of their children; however, they did not manage to make savings to promote thei r micro-small operations. The findings also indicat ed that micro-credit equipped women with greater social net works, freedom of mobility and facilitated bargaini ng power vise-a-vis their husbands. The findings have implications for policies and int erventions in enhancing new innovative approaches f or micro- business programs.