Is Microcredit Changing Women's Role? An Exploratory Study from Rural Burundi
Natalia Varela (Ph.D), Alain Daou (Ph.D), Réjean Tessier (Ph.D), Pablo Muñoz (D.Psy), Pedro Guerra Serrano (M.Sc)

Although microcredit programs are used in many developing countries, the evidence on the effects of microcredit on women, documented in several studies, is still contradictory. One example of this lack of congruence is the impact on domestic violence. Several studies show that the financial empowerment of women is a risk factor for domestic violence while others affirm its role as a protective factor. Our research aims to explore the economic and social effects of the Nawe Nuze microcredit groups in Burundi. We seek to explore the effects of microcredit on women's role. A mixed methodology has been used. An interesting aspect of this study is that we take into account the perceptions and discourses of men (husbands) relative to the role of women in Burundi and, in the Nawe Nuze microcredit groups. We found that, although the economic effect is the most visible, a positive social effect on the woman’s role in the household and on the couple's relationship is evidenced. Furthermore, we found that participation of women in microcredit groups has no observable effect on intimate partner violence. We, therefore, believe these results advance research and can usefully assist policy makers and practitioners in establishing microcredit programs for women.

Full Text: PDF      DOI: 10.15640/ijgws.v4n2a7