Gender Equality & Micro Finance - CARE

Gender Equality & Micro Finance

The majority of the world’s poorest billion are women. Women account for two thirds of the working hours spent globally. In turn they earn only 10 per cent of global wages. Women own a mere one per cent of property globally, and two thirds of the world’s illiterates are women. Therefore it makes good sense to focus our attention on women’s rights, roles and opportunities.

Women who have gained a voice, influence and rights serve as catalysts of positive spirals both within their families and their communities.

CARE’s Village Savings and Loans Associations have played an important role in promoting women’s opportunities for influence. Each member’s savings create the basis for loans from a common pool. Loans are spent to establish small-scale businesses, investing in new crops or animals or other activities.

The groups are self-managed. CARE’s only input involves the initial training of members, as well as an introduction to savings and loans principles. After the training has come to an end, the groups manage and finance themselves.

The Village Savings and loans Associations are more than simple access to loans. They have become a social security net as well as a social movement for the mobilisation of poor women in particular. They promote inclusion in decision-making processes: firstly within the family, and later on within the local community.

Indeed, CARE has seen examples of women for whom the savings and loans associations have become the first stepping stone on the way to a political career.

To know more about CARE Danmark’s work with gender equality and micro finance in developing countries please contact Programme Coordinator Rolf Hernø or Programme Coordinator Nanna Callisen Bang. Our employee in Nepal Maria Ploug Petersen also has a lot of experience working with Village Saving and Loans Associations.

Read more about CARE Danmark’s other focus areas:
Value Chains
Climate Change
Food Security

CARE Danmark works in: