IMPACT OF MICROFINANCE ON WOMEN EMPOWERMENT AND POVERTY ALLEVIATION: A CASE STUDY OF DISTRICT GILGIT

Ishtiaq Ahmad (seraph.ishtiaq@gmail.com)
Economics, Allama Iqbal Open University Islamabad Pakistan
May, 2016
 
Mr. Ishtiaq Ahmad is currently working as a Lecturer in Economics in Public Schools and Colleges Jutial Gilgit, Pakistan. His research interests are economical and educational issues.
 

Abstract

Poverty and women empowerment have been the issues of great concern for the couple of decades. Microfinance is frequently used as a tool to combat poverty and empowering women. The present study aims to explore impact of AKAM’s microfinance in poverty eradication and women empowerment. Logistic regression analysis along with descriptive analysis was applied to investigate the survey data. By comparing new clients with the clients of successive loan cycles, the study shows a positive impact of microfinance on income and saving. Mixed results were observed towards women empowerment. Impact on four out of six observed variables for financial empowerment and four out of seven for social empowerment were positive. The study shows not a significant result on women spending on personal accessories, decision related to general household expenditure, parties and social gathering, decision related to entertainment and spending for festival celebrations. On the basis of the findings, it is concluded that microfinance has positive impact on empowerment, but yet there are some financial and social sides to be addressed. Microfinance program enabled women to participate in income generating activities and to spend more on education, health, and food items. Strong correlation between income and saving and spending pattern after loan shows positive impact of microfinance on poverty alleviation.