Week #14: Women’s Struggles and Successes

USAID-DCA-Kalangala-Business-Owner-Portraits-_MG_3872

Gender equality is something that is very important to a society, as no one should be seen as less-than because of his or her gender. Even in very developed countries the inequality that is seen is too much even if it is light years ahead of developing countries especially in Africa. “In some countries, women are still not equal in law. Even where they are legally equal to men, it is common for decisions to be taken by male heads of households or male local chiefs and leaders.”(Our Africa). Shows that more needs to be done to change hundreds of years of women’s oppression. One of the first and most important steps to gaining equality for women is legally making them equal. If there is a legal precedent in place to protect women’s rights then the country is on the right path. Even if there is not a immediate change there will be change over time as past cultural norms are now slowly being eroded by having a legal protection for women. Even in country’s that now make it illegal to prevent girls from going to school the rates of girls dropping out is much higher than boys. One reason is family’s do not see any value in educating their daughters as they will end up doing domestic work throughout their lives and education will slow them from learning these skills. Also girls in Africa are married off at a very young age and their new husband does not find it necessary to send their new wives to work. This has helped some girls whose families are financially stable and willing to spend the money on their daughters helping them rise above their current standing. An important policy that could have a big impact would be to have governments stop charging a fee on education to make it available to everyone and to require every child to go to school until they have completed primary education. If this was put in place it would immediately have a positive effect educating the public and it would also change options on girls duty and worth if they had to go to school. Changing people long held opinions on girls place in the world and their value is the most important struggle to insure girl’s rights are taken care of.

Economic opportunity is important to getting women equality because they would be able to take care of themselves and not be dependent on a caregiver. With this independence women can show others struggling and hire other women to help advance as many women as possible. “Women’s ability to participate in the labor market is constrained by their higher allocation of time to unpaid work. On average, women spend twice as much time on household work as men and four times as much time on childcare (Duflo, 2012), thereby freeing up time for male household members to participate in the formal labor force.”(IMF). Women need to break the stereotype that they can only be proficient at certain types of work, mainly unpaid housework. When women are realize their full economic potential they change the cycle of oppression as they teach their sons and daughters the value of women and show them with the right tools they can too be successful business owners and workers. If this new generation can be taught the value of women in the word they will help the country rise out of poverty. Like in the video when the women were able to get help to get the equipment to effectively produce and mill products if helped the whole community. With the extra profits of the grain they were able to buy a goat for every member involved. The beauty of giving women help with a business idea is it will not only help that one woman but possibly hundreds more as she will employ other women creating a whole society of women who are economically stable and successful.

wanjiru-with-scholars

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Week 13: Women’s Empowerment

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An info-graphic depicting the need for MDG3: Promoting Gender Equality and Empower Women to “step up,” as women still face discrimination in many ways. From http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/gender.shtml
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A statistic from the World Bank proving how influential education is to a girl’s future. Image from http://www.mercycorps.org

For young girls around the world, knowledge is power and can make a world of difference. Too often female children in developing countries are prematurely taken out of school in order to become domestic workers, young brides, and ultimately, child-mothers. The discontinuation of education for young girls locks them into a place of subordination to and dependence on their male counterparts, where domestic and sexual violence is rampant. In such situations, those ambitious, intelligent girls full of potential no longer have the ability to pursue their dreams. They are denied equal opportunity, and it is devastating. Devastating, not only from a human rights perspective, but also from one of progress. Imagine all the potential doctors, nurses, engineers, researchers, scholars, businesswomen, entrepreneurs, and schoolteachers who are deprived of the foundation upon which successful careers are built. However, the girls are not the only ones missing out: these countries forgo a great deal of growth by using only 50% of their resources.

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The organization Let Girls Lead’s logo. From http://www.letgirlslead.org

There are a number of initiatives in Africa aimed at empowering girls. In her article, “Denise Duning goes to the causes of poverty, unleashing girl power to create positive change through Let Girls Lead,” writer Stacy Teicher Khadaroo writes on one of these: Let Girls Lead. This is a California-based initiative created by Denise Dunning that offers training and other forms of support to local social entrepreneurs looking to change policies. In Malawi, for example, Let Girls Lead worked alongside Malawi’s Girls Empowerment Network (GENET) to campaign for raising the national marriage age from 15 to 18. Such amazing progress has been made that “In the villages where GENET has already pushed for bylaws to raise the marriage age to 21, parents who try to marry off daughters before then have to sweep the floors at the local school or hospital…” (Teicher Khadaroo, 43). Through this same organization and key partners, a woman in Liberia, Rosana Schaack, was able to develop and help pass Liberia’s Children’s Law, “a landmark guarantee of rights to health care and education, along with other safeguards, with a particular focus on the needs of girls” (Teicher Khadaroo, 44). Both of these initiatives encourage girls to continue their educations, thus, they also help return choice to those disempowered by inequality.

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“Julian Omalla Adyeri sharing her experiences of more than two decades as a businesswoman, with, from left, Theopista Sekitto Ntale, Uganda Country Director for New Faces New Voices; Hodan Addou, UN Women Uganda Country Representative and Almaz Gebru, UNDP Country Director, looking on.” Photo by: UN Women/Nadine Kamolleh. From http://beijing20.unwomen.org/en/news-and-events/stories/2014/11/in-uganda-reaffirming-womens-economic-empowerment

Uganda has taken several steps toward empowering women. For instance, in 1997 the Ugandan government’s first National Gender Policy (NGP) was approved. This groundbreaking policy “increased awareness on gender as a development concern…; influenced… programmes to address gender issues; strengthened parternships for the advancement of gender quality and women’s empowerment and increased impetus in gender activism” (Government of Uganda). The NGP was later revised in 2007 to include more action-oriented plans for fairness and inclusion. Additionally, the government of Uganda recently hosted a meeting of Ministry of Gender, Labour, and Social Development representatives, civil society groups, and invested participants from the both the government and private sector in 2014, which focused on women’s economic empowerment. The attendants made grand suggestions, such as “changing attitudes and opinions about women working outside the home and owning businesses, men actin gin solidarity with women, and one-on-one mentoring programmes for the younger generation” (UN Women). From these examples, one can see that Uganda has made diligent strides toward empowering women through advocacy, collaboration, and political petitioning.

Women’s Rights [Week 14]

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Market in the Street of Hoian, photo credit to Khánh Hmoong, used under Creative Commons

All across the world, women are instrumental in providing for the family. Not only to they arrange the activities of the household, but they also bear most of the responsibility for bearing and caring for children, feeding the household, and making necessary preparations for the future. However, despite these important roles, the rights that women have (or lack thereof) are not reflective of these perceived duties. Many nations, developed and developing, have taken steps to rectify this, but there is still progress to be made.

The Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women was a major step in working towards policies that supported women’s rights. Many countries have signed and incorporated its principles into practice, and while some policies have substantially helped women, some have not.

Positive policies have been carried out in numerous country. In India, sexual harassment is illegal in the workplace, allowing women to work more effectively  without the fear for personal safety and security. This helps close the gap between men and women’s safety and assurance in the workplace, in which the question of safety may have kept many women from working. In Uganda, CEDAW creates a foundation for women who are fighting for equal rights to land ownership. In many countries, land or some other kind of tangible asset is needed to gain access to credit, to participate in community decisions, or to even  be seen as a contributing member of society. This is seen particularly in Uganda. Although not all countries have ratified CEDAW (including the United States!), the policies that it has helped support and implement are evidence of its success.

However, one of the biggest stumbling blocks to any women’s rights-oriented policy is putting them into practice. While countries can lay claim to CEDAW, making sure the principles that it set forth are being followed is another challenge

Justice Gavel, photo credit to Tori Rector, used under Creative Commons
Justice Gavel, photo credit to Tori Rector, used under Creative Commons

in and of itself. The UN’s YouTube video describes de facto and de jure discrimination against women, in which what is happening in reality differs from that which is set into law. I feel it is important to mention these concepts. At face value, many policies may seem to push for equality between men and women. But there are often hidden barriers for women, such as a lack of property ownership or a required experience only men can have, policies are rendered practically ineffective.

In order to create more sustainable gender equality, I think that specific policies need to be made in order to address this issue. At the moment, signing CEDAW requires that countries report their progress. I believe a policy that would enact random checks, rather than planned check-ins, would push countries towards more effective and rapid change. The policies are there in most countries, but the reports are only a representation of the reality.

The IMF determines that women contribute significantly to economy through unpaid tasks that they do. Women often have less time to devote to work, even if they are self-employed, and economic instability brings vulnerability as well. When women are economically unstable, they are more susceptible to falling into poverty, further emphasizing the feminization of poverty.

Women in the Mustard Fields..., photo credit to Nitin Bhardwaj, used under Creative Commons
Women in the Mustard Fields… ,photo credit to Nitin Bhardwaj, used under Creative Commons

As seen in the article The Women of ISIS, elaborate and well-structured organizations of women can be crafted that allow the women to work towards a general purpose. Women from Sri Lanka are mentioned here, and defend their militarism as a method to support and defend their values where traditional systems have never protected them. It is even take up as an alternative to the dangers that come with living in active war zones. Women are more than capable of coming together under a common cause, and this is an example of it.

When women are economically empowered, there are numerous benefits for not only them, but for the community as well. In the featured YouTube video, women in communities in Chad were supported by Africare in the pursuit of independent businesses. These businesses included harvesting and maintaining crops, running a restaurant, and raising goats. Not only did the women become more financially independent, but their ventures allowed them to put more resources into others.

The income they receive allows them to not only feed and educate their own children, but to take in others in the community as well. In many countries women are the planners and keepers for their households, and the money that they are earning allows them to put their own plans into action, rather than having to depend on a man to give them permission or the resources.

Week #13 Empowering Women & Violence

Girls' education report

Giving a population access to education and knowledge is one of the most powerful tools to uplift a society. In many African nations the focus has primarily been on making sure the men in their societies had some sort of education, while expecting women to go uneducated. They expect the women to preform traditionally domestic roles in their culture, which does not put an emphasis on women’s education. This practice needs to change if Africa truly wants to uplift itself out of poverty, only with the empowering of women will these African nations stand a chance to succeed. With increases in women’s education the birthrate and use of contraceptives will increase as a result of women being more causes then men when they are able to have freedom to choose a partner and the knowledge to know how to prevent pregnancy and decrease the chance of STDs. “More highly educated girls and women are better able to negotiate safer sex. An increasing number of studies show that this may be having a real impact on HIV rates.” (Girl Power). Educating women will have a very real and immediate impact on HIV rates as a result of women being empowered to make their own decisions. One way governments can have a very large impact on the rate of children enrolled in school is to eliminate the school fee. This allows the poorest of people the ability to give their children an education they would otherwise be unable to afford. The elimination of school fees is a good first step towards the direction of a more empowered and educated women population.NobelPeacePriceimage

Namibia is a country that is trying to protect its women and children by passing laws that explicitly guarantee them rights such as basic food, health care and education. One law Namibia passed “defines rape in broad terms and allows for the prosecution of spousal rape. Numerous cases of rape were prosecuted during the year, and the government generally enforced rape penalties, which provide for sentences of between five and 45 years’ imprisonment”(State Gov). Protecting women who may have been forced into marriage, from having sex with their husbands. Although laws do exists against workplace discrimination it is still rare to see a women in management positions. Namibia is ahead of many countries in Africa in terms of women’s rights but still has room for improvement to truly have equality and empowerment in the nation.

 

The high prevalence of abuses towards women in Africa including HIV, sexual violence, child rape, child trafficking among others is appallingly high. In too many of these countries women are not seen as equal counterparts to men but a sub category of human. This mindset needs to change to stop to curb the rampit abuses women face. In places such as South Africa and Namibia they struggle with child rape and while many ignore the problem some are looking at solutions. One of the biggest preventers of child rape this studies “findings suggest that prevention of child rape is linked to improvements in the social position of women and girls, and the struggle for the recognition of women’s rights”(Jewkes). The role education of women and children in these African nations is vital to uplifting these nations out of poverty but also to help eliminate social atrocities. Nigeria is one nation that has had issues with its women’s rights where many do not value women as much as men in the culture. In the news of late has been the abduction of over 200 girls from a school in northeastern Nigeria. Although “No one has admitted carrying out the mass kidnapping, although it is assumed to be the work of Boko Haram, the al-Qaida-linked jihadi group. Amnesty International says 1,500 people have been killed this year in the conflict between Boko Haram and Nigerian security forces”(Guardian). Showing the ability of these groups to pull of large-scale kidnappings is not a good sign for Nigeria and its record on women’s rights. Not only did the kidnapping of 200 girls take place they to a large extent still remain missing. With the long standing Islamic traditions of the area and a dislike for western influence groups like Boko Haram will continue to fight against the advancement of women and western ideals. For these groups to stop the Nigerian government as well as outside groups need to make sure these areas are secure for women and girls to continue to get the education they need without fear of abduction.

Wood, K. et al. (1998). He forced me to love him.

Jewkes, R. et al. (2005). “If they rape me, I can’t blame them.”

Sehll-Duncan, B. and Hernlund, Y. (no date). Female ‘circumcision” in Africa.

Khadaroo, S. T. (2014) Denise Dunning goes to the causes of poverty, unleashing girl power to create positive change through Let Girls Lead.

Guiterrez, L. et al. (2000) Toward an understanding of (Em)Power(Ment) for HIV/AIDS Prevention with Adolescent Women.

Hargreaves, J. and Boler, T. (2006). Girl Power

Empowering Women, FGM, and Holistic Approaches [Week 13]

Empowering Young Women

In our world, it is so critical to empower girls and to make sure that they have a voice in our society, even more so in places like Sub-Saharan Africa where the traditional roles of women are essentially to be subservient to someone, whether that be their families, in-laws, or future husbands. Eve Ensler specifies in her TED talk that much of world criticizes and hurts girls, so much so that we make them feel guilty for just existing. Women in SSA are instrumental in its economic and social recovery.

While many African governments have passed legislation that prevents things like FGM and child marriages, organizations like the Desert Flower Foundation and FORWARD that work directly with families to help reinforce these principles where the government cannot. A project was even developed in Burkina Faso that allowed mentors to educate girls, as well as provide funds for them to kick-start financial activities for them.

Burkina Faso is considered one of the leading forces against FGM, most likely because of the prevalence of it within the nation. They have passed legislation against it, even incorporating it into their constitution. The struggle with any law that contradicts tradition, however, is that people are going to try and find a way around it. In this case, many people now attempt to carry out FGM earlier so it can go unreported. However, Burkina Faso did adopt the Maputo Protocol, which detailed special protections for women such as prevention of abuse towards women who are elderly or have a disability, and protecting women with specific special needs. However, as is often the case, putting policy into practice is slow and difficult work.

Holistic approaches to stop the violence

In these readings, a number of problems are identified concerning sexually related issues with young women. The study He forced me to love him by Katherine Wood, Fidelia Maforah, and Rachel Jewkes comments that there is not so much a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of putting that specific knowledge into practice. Young people are often pressured by their peers and by community standards to engage in these sexual behaviors, and parent-child conversation about them is considered taboo.

Against my will, photo credit to Jessica Lea/Department for International Development, used under Creative Commons
Against my will, photo credit to Jessica Lea/Department for International Development, used under Creative Commons

One stand-out  issue in the He forced me to love him article was the concept of equating “love” with a strictly sexual relationship. While the cultural definition of love is broad and varies across regions, this association of love and sex was predominately defined by men. Ultimately, in many communities, sex is an act that is always initiated by a man. It is also expected–women expect sexual cravings and advances from men, and don’t question them.

Education here is needed, but rather that on the behalf of women, it needs to be for the men. Something about the definition of manhood and what a relationship is with a woman is resulting in these types of sexual encounters, and if not attacked at the root, will continue to manifest itself from generation to generation.

Wood and her colleagues determined that there is a gap in information and education here–what constructs male sexuality, and why do they act the way they do in sexual encounters? I believe that by asking these questions of men themselves, you can begin to find answers. In order for changes to be made, the association of manhood with these kinds of actions must be eliminated. Another essential aspect is to formally criminalize these kinds of abusive sexual actions, and to lower the restrictive barriers to allow women to take action against those who hurt them. This needs to be incorporated into the restructuring of many nations’ infrastructure as a key component.

Ending FGM/C through education, photo credit to Jessica Lea/DFID, used under Creative Commons
Ending FGM/C through education, photo credit to Jessica Lea/DFID, used under Creative Commons

Another issue was the effect that young girls have on others–particularly in talking about sexual experiences. There is a notion of exclusion, presenting sex as more of a rite of passage. For young girls, this can have a domino effect of engaging in sexual behaviors in order to maintain friendships and inclusion. To mediate this, a space of conversation and learning needs to be created. A space where all girls are included and can discuss their questions and concerns openly with a health professional, or even someone in their village who is knowledgeable and willing to share her own insight with them.

According to Jewkes, young girls are seen as becoming mature faster than boys, therefore in many minds evening out the age difference between them. Seen in “If they rape me, I can’t blame them” is a pattern of self-blaming–here, girls seem to shoulder all responsibility for any type of assault or molestation that occurs. Their bodies are seen as inherently sexual the older they get, and everything from their actions to the types of clothes they wear is seen as provocative and an invitation for sexual interaction. Immodesty is seen as a form of disrespect.

Photo credit to Michael Fleshman, used under Creative Commons
Photo credit to Michael Fleshman, used under Creative Commons

The reasons the girls kidnapped by Boko Haram have not been found yet have been numerous. The girls have been believed to have been seen recently, but there are arguments as to why they haven’t been rescued yet. I believe that despite the publicity the incident is receiving, it is less shocking on the local level than it is on the international level. Boko Haram has inflicted all kinds of terror upon the people there, and Nigeria has a  society where this type of thing happens every day.

In some eyes, it could be argued that the girls are still receiving some kind of education, religion, housing, and a secure future, which is better than what a lot of girls might receive in their lifetime. The danger of men that they don’t know isn’t much greater than the danger of men that they might know in their communities–the threat has not changed. In a system where girls are so deeply undervalued, the absence of them has been buried under issues considered more important.

Week 12: Women in the Workforce and Micro-loans

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The official symbol for Millennium Development Goal #3. From http://blogs.civicus.org/civicus/category/women-and-gender/

Women have been marginalized from the workforce because of the historical patriarchy that has existed around the world. In developed countries, a woman’s ability to possess a dual role of both worker and mother is continuously called into question by society. She is constantly asked how she’ll balance her career and motherhood; whereas, her working male partner is never probed about how he’ll manage being a father at the same time. These pressures have often forced women to choose between the two and have furthered women’s marginalization from the workplace. Additionally, in the United States, women are still occupying many of the same jobs they did in the 1970s. Based on Census data, the Huffington Post: Business reports, “It is within the occupational standings where we see the least change in our workforce over the past 40 years. The leading occupations for women in 1970 were secretaries, bookkeepers, and elementary school teachers. In 2006-2010, the leading occupations were secretaries and administrative assistants, cashiers, and elementary and middle school teachers.” Our culture is still dividing careers based upon binary gendered categories.

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A widely recognized symbol for women’s empowerment. From http://imgarcade.com/1/women-empowerment-symbols/

In the developing world, women are seen as the primary caregivers of both infants and the elderly; they are designated as domestic workers; and contribute to the majority of agriculture production. These traditional societal demands prevent countless women from continuing their educations and establishing a career of their own. In Uganda, for example, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations explains that “90 percent of all rural women work in agriculture, compared to 53% of rural men… men are primarily responsible for the marketing side…and women often do not benefit from the sale of their produce.” Moreover, Uganda’s Capacity Program initiated a Ministry of Health Gender Discrimination and Inequality Analysis (GDIA) to determine how gender plays a role within the health workforce. Findings illustrated that there was a “concentration of men at the top of occupational hierarchies and of women at the bottom…men occupied 77% of senior management jobs. Sixty-three percent (63%) of middle management jobs were occupied by men.” The positive news is that the Ministry of Health is now collaborating with the Ministry of Gender, Labor, and Social Development; the Ministry of Public Service; and the Health Service Commission/District Service Commissions in attempt to develop an equal opportunity strategy.

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He For She’s logo. From http://www.unwomen.org/en
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The final four women on the ballot for Women On 20s: Eleanor Roosevelt, Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks, and Wilma Mankiller. From http://www.womenon20s.org/spread-the-word

Spreading awareness is an important strategy to improve these, and many other, forms of gender discrimination. One interesting movement doing this is the Women On 20s project. Its mission is to elevate women to a place that has been entirely reserved for the men who have shaped American history. Also, another change would be do inspire men to support women in their search for equality. For too long the women’s rights movement has been geared solely toward women. The United Nations He For She campaign is a powerful call to men to join in and stand up for equality between the sexes.

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A poster signifying the need to include everyone in the movement for gender equality. From http://val3ntea.tumblr.com/post/37366997997/we-can-all-do-it-by-soirart

It is difficult for me to completely take one side or the other when it comes to whether or not micro-loans improve the self-sufficiency of women in the workforce. On one side there are success stories, such as those discussed in Sheryl Wu Dunn’s TedTalk “Global Oppression of Women.” However, there are also the unintended, unforeseen complications that often manifest. Naila Keeber’s writes Conflicts Over Credit: Re-Evaluating the Empowerment Potential of Loans to Women in Rural Bangladesh, which outlines and evaluates the conflicting opinions on small-scale credit programs for women in developing nations. Overall, Keeber asserts that many of the negative repercussions cited by opponents originate from the intra-household power imbalances between husband and wife. A particular study illustrated that “access to loans did little to change the management of cash within the household for either female or male loanees. Interpreting reports of ‘joint’ management as disguised male dominance I decision-making, the authors concluded that access to loans had done little to empower women.” It seems as though before loans can empower women out in the community, they must first be empowered within the household structure.

Week #12: Women & Micro-Loans

mdg3

  • Women are one group of people that have for centuries been marginalized and treated as second-class citizens. Even the seemingly large advances in woman’s equality in the western world much of Africa sees large gaps in equality and a great deal of marginalization. The third MDG calls for the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of woman in the developing world. Many of these places in Africa have traditional roles for women that are hard to change as “the inclusion of women in the development process often reasserts women’s position in unpaid work and the informal economy that rests on gendered assumptions of woman as carers and mothers”(Harman 90). These assumptions and cultural norms, that this is what women should do, is a problem that has continued to marginalize women’s job prospects in Africa. If these continue to hold true in many African nations the ability of their women to stop being marginalized becomes more difficult.hilfe,1737
  • To help achieve MDG goal #3 there must be a change in the approach of addressing the goal. At the current moment the structure of the MDGs means that some goals take priority over others gaining more funds. While the seemingly less important goals receive significantly less funds making it very difficult to have effective implementation which marginalizes the goals which receive less funding. “Woman need to be seen beyond issues of child birth, childrearing, and HIV/AIDS”(Harman 98) to truly have an effect on their marginalization. If we simply look to fix things women may encounter like childrearing and HIV we will never actually address the issue of inequality. One way to effectively achieve the goal is to have women be the focus of development for the nation and poverty alleviation. If women in these countries are given the proper tools to have successes they will thrive.
  • Namibia is one of the stronger economies in Sub-Saharan Africa, which helps it have a large job market. It also does marketable better than many other African nations when it comes to gender and women’s equality in the work place. If you’re a woman “living in Uganda, Namibia, Ghana or Nigeria you are three times more likely than your husband, son, or brother to run a business”(Easton FOURTUNE). Women in Namibia are lucky to have opportunities that many of their counterparts around Africa do not have.namibia_pol90
  • One way some have seen to improve the poor and women’s lives is through micro-loans and similar small individual loans. These loans give capital without asking for collateral, which allows the poorest of the poor to get a loan that would have been impossible before. Although I do not think these loans will by themselves be the answer to eradicating poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa they will help thousands of people and communities overcome their circumstances. Since women have been left out of many traditional avenues of employment in these countries before these micro-loans allow them to start small businesses escaping the barriers to employment. These loans allow self-sufficiency of women because they are no longer dependent on a male figures income but can make a living on their own.Namibia_women_in_culture
  • In Namibia the micro-loan industry has seen a boom as hundreds of these loan companies have opened making it one of the larger industries in the economy. Although it has been seen as a success by many, some concerns about the industry such as “demand that borrowers surrender banking cards and pin codes so that they can withdraw their cash first”(Villager) which is deemed illegal by the government. Some companies have had problems not following regulation, which has marred the image of the industry to some extent but with the wide number of institutions and the millions of dollars in micro-loans in the country it is safe to say Namibia has benefited from the use of micro-loans. To a large extent the micro-loans have been a big success, with some setbacks coming from lenders illegal practices and borrowers inability to repay loans, on the whole though these institutions have helped pull people out of poverty.

 

Hallward-Driemeier, M. Hasan, T., and Rusu, A.B. Women’s Legal Rights over 50 years – 55 pages; try to get the gist of the article

Kabeer, N. Conflicts over Credit: Re-Evaluating the Empowerment Potential of Loans in Women in Rural Bangladesh – 22 pages

Mayoux, L. Tackling the down side: Social Capital, Women’s Empowerment and Micro-Finance in Cameroon. – 30 pages

Chen, M., Sebstad, J. and O’Connell, L. Counting the invisible workforce: The case of homebased workers. – 8 pages