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How Microfinance Reduces Gender Inequality In Developing Countries

Shobha Vakade, 28, who took a loan of rupees 18,000 ($400) from a micro finance company to start her own business, strings beads into necklaces outside her house in a slum in Mumbai October 26, 2010. India's microfinance industry, which surged to prominence when George Soros-backed SKS Microfinance raised $358 million in an IPO, faces a regulatory clampdown that could erode profits and hurt growth. Reports of dozens of suicides by poor borrowers in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh, the hub of India's microfinance sector, prompted the state to enact an rules against aggressive recovery practices by lenders who make loans that average about $150 to poor customers at interest rates that can top 30 percent. Picture taken October 26, 2010.       To match analysis INDIA-MICROFINANCE/      REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui (INDIA - Tags: SOCIETY BUSINESS) - RTXTX0P

An increase in the proportion of women accessing microfinance services by just 15% could potentially reduce gender inequality, as measured by the Gender Inequality Index, by half in the average developing nation. The finding comes from a recent study published in Applied Economics Letters that also found that cultural characteristics can influence this relationship.

Gender equality refers to the rights, responsibilities and opportunities of women and men, girls and boys. It does not imply that women and men are the same, but that the interests, needs and priorities of both women and men should be taken into consideration while recognising diversity across different populations.

For more on this story visit the following link: How Microfinance Reduces Gender Inequality In Developing Countries

Source: BoomLive

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