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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/31920

Title: The Impact of the Grameen Bank upon the Patriarchal Family and Community Relations of Women Borrowers in Bangladesh
Authors: Rouf, Kazi
Advisor: Quarter, Jack
Department: Adult Education and Counselling Psychology
Keywords: Grameen Bank
women empowerment
community development
patriarchy
community space
micro credit
Issue Date: 11-Jan-2012
Abstract: The purpose of the study is to: (1) examine the degree to which women borrowers of the Grameen Bank are being empowered to participate in familial decision-making around the management of income and expenditures like food, children’s education, dowry and teenage marriages; and (2) to examine women borrowers’ engagement in community activities such as the degree of freedom women are granted to visit public places like schools, local councils, banks and markets. In particular, the study explores the role of the Grameen Bank (GB) in women’s empowerment through the Sixteen Decisions, an educational program designed to empower women in the family and community. This study used a mixed-methods research design that included 61 GB women borrowers selected through purposive sampling. The data suggest that the participants have assumed leadership roles within their families: more than 80% of the study’s participants led decision making within their family; more than 90% supported their children’s education financially; 91% reported that they worked together with family members to manage day-to-day expenses; 80% reported that they manage their family incomes; 98% reported they do not like dowry marriages and teenage marriages; and 33% view male-dominant values as a hindrance to women’s development. The findings indicated that 98% of GB women borrower participants are engaged in community organizations and 94% do not face problems with this engagement. In the 2009 UpZilla (Municipal Sub-district) Election, out of 481 seats, 114 Female Chairs (25% of the total) were elected from the GB women borrowers and their families (Grameen Bank, 2009). In addition, the number of women borrowers serving as councilors has increased from 1,572 in 1997 to 1,950 in 2003; these data indicate that the number of women borrowers acting in formal leadership roles is increasing (Grameen Bank, 2009). The study finds the GB program has had a positive impact upon the borrowers’ relations in the family and community. In spite of these developments, one-fifth of GB women borrowers’ husbands control their wives’ loan money, an indication of the strength of patriarchy in Bangladesh. Although GB’s Sixteen Decisions have included economic issues and other social issues, none directly discusses gender inequality, which the study findings suggest is important. Hence a revision of the Sixteen Decisions is suggested.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/31920
Appears in Collections:Doctoral

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