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