Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Too much expected of microfinancing

That microfinancing is good for the emancipation of women and poverty alleviation in developing countries is true says Dutch-sponsored researcher Alfred Lakwo, but only in part. Lakwo travelled with the help of an NWO grant to Uganda.

There he carried out research among rural women and concluded that microfinancing must be far better matched to the local situation if it is to be really effective in the longer term. Lakwo reported some improvement in the position of women within the family context and within their local community.

Lakwo described how the women in the Ugandan district of Nebbi support themselves, the role they play within their local community and the extent to which microfinancing helps female clients to improve their gendered position. He started by examining factors that embed gender discrimination. Lakwo discovered that microfinancing gave the women concerned more money and knowledge, but no real independence. However, the benefit gained is nothing compared to the material progress made by other women because, for example, they gained access to more ground, cattle or (agricultural) machinery.

Good wives and mothers

According to Lakwo, microfinancing strengthens the self-esteem of the women involved, making them feel good wives and mothers. Thanks to their small businesses their activities are no longer limited to the kitchen or the land. They are therefore regarded less as 'visitors' dependent on men and feel that they are taken more seriously as partners and village residents. That provides them with more responsibility within the local community and a higher status within their marriages. Lakwo also reports secret opposition to issues such as polygamy and restrictions on the formation of women's organisations or female representation in local organisations. Yet women still prefer to run their businesses together with their husbands or families as opposed to by themselves.


Lakwo states that microfinancing makes a clear contribution to the emancipation of women when it comes to acquiring comparable positions and rights to men, within a marriage relationship or emancipation at an individual level. According to him, policy makers should realise that this is not the same as creating independent 'macho' women, a western outlook on the emancipation of women. They also need to match microcredit programmes to the local situation and needs. This would enable a good infrastructure for microfinancing to be built up and the target group would become involved in the policy. At present that scarcely happens.

Alfred Lakwo's research was in part made possible by an NWO travel subsidy.

Dr Alfred Lakwo | alfa
Further information:

More articles from Social Sciences:

nachricht New population data provide insight on aging, migration
31.08.2016 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

nachricht PRB projects world population rising 33 percent by 2050 to nearly 10 billion
25.08.2016 | Population Reference Bureau

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>