HomeAsia-Pacific Social Science Reviewvol. 11 no. 2 (2011)

The Impact of Microcredits on the Life Quality of Women in the Rural Area in Andhra Pradesh (India).

Raquel Marbán-flores



Considering the arguments in favour of the existence of a feminization of poverty, it is expedient to explore solutions that allow women to escape the cycle of poverty, overcome their lack of autonomy and grant them greater ‘empowerment’. The microfinance sector could be considered one of these solutions as, since it was established, the sector has been characterised by particularly targeting women living in rural areas. Microfinance could contribute to women’s empowerment by raising their self-esteem and their decision-making power, even in small household issues or in the microenterprises created due to the concession of microcredit. In this respect, this study tries to evaluate the impact that microfinance programmes have had on the lives of women in rural areas of Andhra Pradesh (India). The field study carried out with a significant number of microfinance borrowers has allowed relevant conclusions to be drawn, especially in regards to changes in women’s market basket where it can be seen that new products have been included or more has been spent on basic goods after obtaining microcredit. However, the women interviewed had not considerably increased their autonomy in household decisions, and continued to consult their husbands. Nevertheless, they had gained autonomy in relation to their microenterprises, where the majority took decisions that they would not have been able to do previously.