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Women’s Leadership in Micro Finance: Issues and Challenges
Dr. Vibhuti Patel, DIRECTOR, P.G.S. R.
Prof. & HOD, University Department of Economics,
SNDT Women’s University, Smt. Nathibai Thakersey Road, Chuchgate, Mumbai-400020
Phone-26770227®, 22052970(O) Mobile-9321040048 E email@example.com
Presented at Refresher Course on Emerging Trends in Economics in Post Liberalised Era by Department of Economics, University of Mumbai, 11th Sept. 2008
Nineties was a difficult decade for both the urban and rural poor women as women were rapidly losing their livelihood base due to structural adjustment programmes and macro economic stabilization policies. Reduction in budgetary allocation for social sector (privatization of education and health as well as dismantling of public distribution system) and privatization of essential survival needs made lives of poor women unbearable. Draught in several parts of India and liberalization of agrarian market added fuel to fire with increasing numbers of farmers’ suicides and starvation deaths. It was in this backdrop, that women’s leadership in microfinance thro’ Self Help Groups (SHGs) came to the fore to provide safety net to the poorest of the poor women initially in the four Southern States- Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Tamilnadu and during the 21st century all over the country.