Why Do Women Need Help?
Women and girls make up 70% of people in extreme poverty.
Survival is difficult for women who have large family responsibilities, little or no education, cultural barriers to employment, and no access to traditional finance.
In undeveloped countries, where resources are scarce and infrastructure such as, electricity and running water, is unavailable, it is difficult for women to provide for the family. When there is illness or the family is extended, it becomes even more difficult.
Many women and girls come from families that are too poor to send children to school, or only send their sons to school. Girls miss out on learning to read and write and are then unable to access the job opportunities that could pay them enough to save money and get ahead.
Women and girls can be disadvantaged by local culture and traditions. For example, in many traditional societies in sub-Saharan Africa, a woman does not have the right to inherit land and other property. If a man dies his wife can lose her house, her possessions and the assets of any business that they built together.
How microloans help women
Women in poverty are not helpless; they just need the right opportunity. Microloans give women that opportunity.
- greater independence and self-determination as she takes control of her life and makes her own choices
- increased self-esteem as she becomes more self-reliant and confident in managing her financial circumstances
- developing new skills and abilities
- improved status, and the confidence to grow in her community, as an entrepreneur
This kind of assistance respects the woman’s integrity and pride, shows trust in her ability to manage a loan, and acknowledges her skills and abilities.
She is not a passive recipient of aid, she is an entrepreneur actively working to increase her livelihood. This is powerful.