Dissertations and Theses

Date of Award


Document Type



International Relations

First Advisor

Jean Krasno

Second Advisor

Jeffrey Kucik


Microfinance, India, women


Women in rural India suffer from pervasive gender inequality and disempowerment. One road to equality is economic empowerment through microfinance. Economic empowerment consists of an increase in savings, income, ownership of property or a microenterprise, and access to social services and training. I compile studies of two most common types of microfinance models used in India in order to determine if there is a general trend indicating that microfinance as a whole has a positive impact on women’s economic empowerment. The two types of microfinance examined are Grameen-model microfinance institutions (MFIs) and Self-Help groups (SHGs) through the SHG-Bank linkage model. I find that almost all of the studies conclude that both types of models significantly contribute to an increase in women’s income and savings. However, the studies found that SHGs are generally more effective at increasing women’s access to training, social services, market information and control over their microenterprises. As a result, I recommend that Grameen-model MFIs adopt the SHG into their own models in order



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