Micro-finance programmes have become a popular approach to promote
women's economic empowerment and have been widely adopted by
government, donors and NGOs alike in Andhra Pradesh state in India. The
popularity of women's self-help groups (SHGs) and micro-finance
programmes in development policy circles reflects the common assumption
that empowering women will improve household well-being, lead to better
outcomes for children and promote social capital development and
community involvement in poverty alleviation initiatives.
This paper assesses the inter-generational impacts of women's
participation in micro-credit programmes and the transmission mechanisms
through which children's wellbeing is affected by different dimensions
of women's empowerment. The over-arching question is to what extent are
these linkages due to ripple effects and to what extent the result of
deliberate policy intentions to tackle childhood poverty. These
questions are important as international development experience has
shown that reduction in aggregate poverty levels does not automatically
translate into diminished poverty for children.
Read the id21 Research Highlight: Making sure women's empowerment
helps children in India.
Young Lives, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK/UNICEF, 39 pp
Ripple effects or deliberate intentions? Assessing linkages between women’s empowerment and childhood poverty. UNICEF/Young Lives Social Policy Paper 002