Is women empowerment a zero sum game? Unintended consequences of microfinance for women’s empowerment in Ghana

Salia, Samuel and Hussain, Javed G. and Tingbani, Ishmael and Kolade, Oluwaseun (2018) Is women empowerment a zero sum game? Unintended consequences of microfinance for women’s empowerment in Ghana. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, 24 (1). pp. 273-289. ISSN 1355-2554

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Abstract

Purpose
Against the background of growing concerns that development interventions can sometimes be a zero sum game, the purpose of this paper is to examine the unintended consequences of microfinance for women empowerment in Ghana.

Design/methodology/approach
The study employs a participatory mixed-method approach including household questionnaire surveys, focus group discussions and key informant interviews to investigate the dynamics of microfinance effects on women in communities of different vulnerability status in Ghana.

Findings
The results of hierarchical regression, triadic closure and thematic analyses demonstrate that the economic benefits of microfinance for women is also directly associated with conflicts amongst spouses, girl child labour, polygyny and the neglect of perceived female domestic responsibilities due to women’s devotion to their enterprises.

Originality/value
In the light of limited empirical evidence on potentially negative impacts of women empowerment interventions in Africa, this paper fills a critical gap in knowledge that will enable NGOs, policy makers and other stakeholders to design and implement more effective interventions that mitigate undesirable consequences.

Item Type: Article
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1108/IJEBR-04-2017-0114
Date: 8 January 2018
Uncontrolled Keywords: microfinance, Ghana, unintended consequences, women empowerment
Subjects: N300 Finance
N400 Accounting
Divisions: Faculty of Business, Law and Social Sciences > Birmingham City Business School > Department of Accounting, Finance and Economics
Depositing User: Users 18 not found.
Date Deposited: 21 Nov 2017 11:54
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2020 12:24
URI: http://www.open-access.bcu.ac.uk/id/eprint/5325

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