Document Type

Honors Paper

Publication Date

2010

Abstract

This thesis examines the possibilities for women’s empowerment through microfinance. It utilizes the results of a survey conducted in 2009 with clients of the microfinance organization FINCA Honduras. The analysis of these survey results yields important conclusions on FINCA Honduras’ ability to empower Honduran women economically, psychologically, and socio-culturally. The original hypothesis of this study stated that FINCA Honduras’ financial services would help the female client to improve her standard of living, her psychological well-being, and her gender relationships in the home. FINCA Honduras has partially succeeded in empowering its female clients in these ways, but currently lacks the specific tools and/or motivations to fully empower women through its services. The findings presented by this thesis offer evidence against microfinance’s ability to automatically empower the female client, and consequently challenge its growing reputation as a panacea for world poverty and gender inequality.



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The views expressed in this paper are solely those of the author.