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First Money, Then Power
Too often words like ignorant, impoverished and oppressed are used to describe women in the Global South. Collectively, Westerners tend to imagine these women as victims. Recent efforts to put economic resources in these women's hands have changed the way they experience and express their power. Governments, schools and civil society organizations alike have recognized that arming women with small loans, as well as helping them develop skills necessary to run their own businesses, benefits women, their families and their communities.Below you will find profiles of five women who have benefited from microcredit loans...
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Women Need Macro Solutions, Too
I.M.O.W. Global Council member Zainab Salbi, founder and CEO of Women for Women International, says that while microfinance is a step in the right direction, women's ability to operate at the macro level of the economy must also be recognized.
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More Than Microfinance
In economics, people frequently use terms such as "micro" or "macro." Nowadays, "micro" is generally associated with microcredit or microfinance, two terms that have become synonymous with the popular practice of giving small loans to people--most often women--to start small businesses and make money for themselves and their families...
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Is Microcredit the Answer for Latin America?
First published on the Council on Hemispheric Affairs Web site on September 24, 2007, the following article by Michael Glenwick questions whether microfinance is beneficial or detrimental to Latin American economies. Glenwick points out that microfinance is big business, has had measurable successes, yet is far from perfect and cannot eliminate poverty on its own...
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A Critique of Microcredit
In this article, originally published in the November/December 2006 issue of Dollars & Sense magazine, feminist economists Susan F. Feiner and Drucilla K. Barker look at how the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize awarded to microcredit guru Muhammad Yunus affirms neoliberalism. Feiner is professor of economics and women's studies at the University of Southern Maine...
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Pro Mujer: A Holistic Approach
Lynne Patterson and Carmen Velasco founded Pro Mujer, a not-for-profit women's development and microfinance organization, two decades ago in Bolivia. Since then, Pro Mujer has worked to improve the lives of poor women and their families throughout five countries in Latin America, distributing US$689 million in microloans...
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Women Empowered to Fight Global Poverty
We know that when women organize and participate in the economy, their household incomes increase, allowing them to invest in their families' health care, food and education and providing a solid foundation for stability and development in their communities. But in developing countries where there is widespread gender discrimination and little or no industry or private sector jobs, women often have to create their own economic opportunity...
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COMMUNITY VOICE:
Small Steps
Microcredit may not be a panacea to women's problems worldwide, but it has impacted thousands of lives, proving that every little bit truly does help...
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