Concepts, Research, Policy
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Edited by Sylvia Chant
Chapter 86: Money as Means or Money as End? Gendered Poverty, Microcredit and Women's Empowerment in Tanzania
86 Money as means or money as end? Gendered poverty, microcredit and women’s empowerment in Tanzania Fauzia Mohamed Microcredit is deemed to provide the poor with the tools and resources they need to lift themselves and their families out of poverty. Microcredit’s global concern is reducing poverty by providing small amounts of credit to generate self-employment in incomegenerating activities. But there is an urgent need to assess these services as microcredit is currently reaching only a fraction of the poor and does not address gendered poverty. Between 28 January and 1 February 2009, the world’s economic leaders gathered in Davos, Switzerland, for the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF). This meeting discussed the global financial crisis and served as an opportunity to campaign for billions of poor people around the world who are hardest hit by the crisis. The Boston-based non-profit organisation, ACCION International, through its newest campaign slogan of ‘lend to end poverty’ asked people to sign a petition asking the world leaders to make microfinance a priority for ending poverty (Zimmerman, 2009). This campaign focuses on poverty reduction through credit, as the only thing the poor need to permanently lift themselves and their families out of poverty. This chapter argues that this is a narrow and unrealistic perception of poverty. Based on field research conducted in Dar es Salaam among agency personnel and poor women clients of two microcredit agencies – Promotion of Rural Initiatives and Development Enterprises (PRIDE) and Sero Lease and Finance Company Limited (SELFINA)...
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