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Sustainable Empowerment Initiatives among Rural Women through Microcredit Borrowings in Bangladesh

Jesmin Akhter () and Kun Cheng ()
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Jesmin Akhter: College of Economics and Management, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou 510642, China
Kun Cheng: College of Economics and Management, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou 510642, China

Sustainability, 2020, vol. 12, issue 6, 1-19

Abstract: Microcredit is an effective instrument that has been recognized to alleviate poverty, especially in developing countries such as Bangladesh. This study seeks to use microcredit as an instrument to bridge the gap between the accessibility of microcredit among poor rural women and sustainable socio-economic development, providing novelty to the concept of “sustainability of empowerment”. In addition, this study employed poor rural women to estimate the empowerment performance of microcredit borrowers compared to non-borrowers in the same socio-economic environment as it relates to microcredit in rural Bangladesh. A regression analysis was used to accomplish these objectives. This study also used propensity score matching techniques to find an easy way to access microcredit. The empirical results not only involve participation in microcredit accessibility but also the particular qualitative attributes of women empowerment. The results also suggest that sustainability is accompanied by affluence among microcredit borrowers, as indicated by women empowerment. The outcome of the empirical analysis shows that there is a significant impact of microcredit on increasing participation in the overall decision-making process, in legal awareness, independent movements, and mobility, as well as enhancing living standards to encourage sustainable women empowerment. This study recommends future investigations for microcredit providers to explore how to build an integrated, holistic approach to women empowerment in Bangladesh.

Keywords: microcredit; accessibility; women empowerment; impact assessment; sustainable development (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 O13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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