Women’s empowerment: A comparative analysis of community based initiatives and micro finance schemes / Parvin Pakzadmanesh

Parvin , Pakzadmanesh (2017) Women’s empowerment: A comparative analysis of community based initiatives and micro finance schemes / Parvin Pakzadmanesh. PhD thesis, University of Malaya.

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      The present research was conducted with the aim to provide an in-depth study of local women’s participation in the process of community development using grounded theory. The target groups of the research were mah meri Orang Asli tribe in Kampung Bumbun and two Malay communities both in Negeri Sembilan. The majority of people in these two local Malay communities enjoyed support from national facilities in term of access to micro financial resources. The study examined the process of women’s participation and the facilitating and impeding factors to improve their productive roles towards community development. The other purpose was to explore the approaches applied by the external supporting institutions and the different results due to different approaches in women’s empowerment. It was found that women are able to be active agents of the community development process in rural areas. Collective actions of women, especially their economic initiatives help them to play a significant role in decision making processes in family and local community if they apply a bottom-up saving-based approach. In communities where decisions for taking collective actions have been made by women, the process has led to their empowerment. In addition, when the decisions have been made by agencies outside of the community who encourage women’s involvement in credit-based approach the results have been over-dependency of the local groups on the decision-makers. Moreover, in the process of being involved economically in the family and the community, when women are getting involved in the continuous and secure process of having micro savings with their own money (warm money) and allocate it for the group’s activity, they will be able to use the money (cold money) provided by NGOs or governmental agencies in a way that led them to an increase in their capabilities; to generate more income and to have better control over their revenue. On the other hand, when the financial resources are acquired through a top-down process and women do not practice saving “warm money” in advance, the outcome of such credit facilities led to the groups’ predominantly consuming the loans in non-income generating manners. In the communities where women are able to improve their productive roles, they are empowered to participate in the process of t sustainable community development. Meanwhile, the results indicated that the collective action of women using their local community resources, like their cultural resources, leads to an increase in social solidarity within the community. Finally, the process of implementing micro credit projects in Malaysia is top-down, where the loans are given to individuals and not to the groups. Therefore, the process of implementation is not focused on empowerment. The success of micro finance projects are measured through the rate of repayment of the loans and not according to the empowerment of groups. In addition, the lack of a phase-out stage in the financing process encourages participants to be continuously indebted for long periods of time, which leads to an over-dependency of borrowers on microloans.

      Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
      Additional Information: Thesis (PhD) – Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Malaya, 2017.
      Uncontrolled Keywords: Women’s empowerment; Empowerment-based initiatives; Participation; Development; Micro finance
      Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
      Divisions: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
      Depositing User: Mr Mohd Safri Tahir
      Date Deposited: 13 Nov 2018 08:56
      Last Modified: 12 Aug 2020 08:39
      URI: http://studentsrepo.um.edu.my/id/eprint/9284

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