Focus on women empowerment
Over 3,300 microfinance institutions reached 133 million clients with a microloan in 2006.
93 million of the clients were among the poorest when they took their first loan.
85 percent of these poorest clients were women.
Microcredit Summit Campaign Report 2007
Microcredit plays a critical role in empowering women, helps deliver newfound respect, independence, and participation for women in their communities and in their households.
Juan Somavia, ILO Director-General
I - The role of women in the economy
II - Why focus on women?
III - How to facilitate the gender equity by the microfinance?
IV - How to increase and support women's participation in micro-finance activities?
The microfinance addresses the persons who have no access to the classic banking and financial system, by proposing them financial products adapted to their needs and their situation. The microfinance is not the miracle solution for development, but it can allow persons who have a viable economic project to realize or develop it.
To most, microfinance means providing very poor families with very small loans to help them engage in productive activities or grow their very small businesses. Many poor people need and use financial services all the time: they save and borrow, invest in home repairs and improvements and meet occasional and domestic expenses such as food and school fees. However, there are some 500 million low income entrepreneurs in the world and about 5% have access to financial services. Indeed, the financial services available to the poor often have serious limitations in terms of cost, risk and convenience. Over time, microfinance has come to include a broader range of services (credit, savings, insurance, etc.) as the industry has come to realize that the poor and the very poor that lack access to traditional formal financial