Training for empowerment: The impact of training for women participating in a microfinance intervention

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Previous economic research on the impact of offering access to microfinance (micro loan and training) to women provided mixed results with respect to female empowerment. Based on social change literature we expected that inviting female borrowers together with their husbands may stimulate female empowerment. In a 3 (time: baseline vs. 6 months after training vs. 1 year later) x 3 (condition) randomized control trial we compared three aspects of empowerment (control beliefs, decision-making, relational friction) between female borrowers who received training for which their husbands were invited (n=1,509) versus who received training alone (n=673) versus who only received a loan (control; n=1,859). Overall, training participation improved control beliefs and relational friction. Importantly, only when female borrowers participated in the training with their husband, the number of training sessions decreased relational oppression and increased intra-household decision-making.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 8-Apr-2015
EventHeymans Symposium 2015 - De Puddingfabriek, Groningen, Netherlands
Duration: 8-Apr-20158-Apr-2015


ConferenceHeymans Symposium 2015


  • female empowerment
  • social change
  • relational dynamics
  • training

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