Empowering rural women through Microfinance in Pucheng County, China

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Uongozi Journal of Management Dynamics


A study was conducted to understand whether and in what ways microfinance services had empowered rural women in China using the Pucheng County Women's Sustainable Development Association (PCWSDA) as a case study. The study focused in the role of microfinance in women's decision making power, their ability to contribute to household income, ownership and control of resources and assets, and their sense of worth and recognition. The study employed qualitative methods including interviews, focus group discussions and observations. A total of 21 women borrowers, five loan officers and a PCWSDA leader comprised the study sample. The findings revealed that microfinance services had empowered rural women in the study area by improving their household incomes, and enhancing their abilities to own and control resources and assets. This in turn had improved their decision making power in the households and given them self-confidence, self-worth and recognition. Lessons learnt from this study include the importance of providing microfinance along with other services such as trainings and expert support in order to build borrowers' capacities to run their income generating activities. Another key lesson is the need to involve male partners and considering other gender characteristics in providing loans to poor women.



Microfinance, Empowerment, Women, China