Analysis of Empowerment through Decision Making of Women in Madurai District of Tamil Nadu - A Study

Selvaraj Narayanan

Poor people, especially poor women have traditionally not been recognized as credit-worthy or able to save and thus they are not perceived to be a profitable market of credit. This forces them to fall in the vicious cycle of everlasting high interest and high collateral loan from money lenders. The sine quo none of any anti-poverty strategy is the irrepressible desire and innate capacity of the poor to uplift their conditions. Therefore, the need comes for innovative credit delivery systems which deviate from formal collateral oriented lending institutions to informal structures. It has been felt all over the world today that micro-finance performances can simultaneously help in the alleviation of poverty and empowering women. Many microcredit institutions/programs (MFI/Ps) have targeted women who live in households having little or no assets. These MFI/Ps have significantly increased women’s security, autonomy, self-confidence and status within the households by providing opportunities for self-employment. Microcredit managed and utilized by women borrowers themselves has the greatest impact on poverty reduction.