Women’s empowerment is essential for socio-economic development as it is considered as one of the major factors for increasing worldwide development efforts. The influence of microfinance on women's empowerment is a debatable topic, as past studies have documented. Some researchers claim that microfinance facilitates women to increase their earning capacity, leading to greater control to tackle cultural irregularities. Others contend that their spouses mostly control micro-loans provided to women, causing severe demotion of women. In this paper, we examined the findings of past studies through word cloud analysis to determine the influence of microfinance on the decision-making power of women and their social empowerment. Among the 54 studies reviewed in this paper, most research studies were found to conclude positive associations between microfinance and women's empowerment. In several studies, results varied due to the measure of empowerment applied gender or socio-political differences. This study is one of its kind in that it evaluated past literature for assessing the relationship between microfinance and women's empowerment.
Khursheed, Ambreen; Khan, Ather Azim; and Mustafa, Faisal
Women’s Social Empowerment and Microfinance: A Brief Review of Literature.
Journal of International Women's Studies, 22(5), 249-265.
Available at: https://vc.bridgew.edu/jiws/vol22/iss5/16