Microcredit for Women: Kerala-style

  • Joan McFarland St. Thomas University
Keywords: Economic development, Microfinance, Organizational change, Social development,


The paper presents a case study of microcredit for women in the state of Kerala, India. Although the microcredit movement has been challenged by the left for its adoption of a banking model, in Kerala, banking practices have not generally been adopted and, contrary to the model, local government plays a major role in delivery. However, with regard to feminist questioning of the ability of microcredit to meaningfully empower women, it is the case in Kerala that women's empowerment, although accepted as a goal in microcredit projects, does not extend to what we may call "gender empowerment."

Author Biography

Joan McFarland, St. Thomas University
Joan McFarland teaches political economy, international development and women's studies at St. Thomas University in Fredericton, New Brunswick. Her recent publications have been on the political economy of women's work and training in New Brunswick.