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10058 - Women, Work, and Microfinance in Paraguay

This paper examines the introduction of a microfinance program for poor women in urban Paraguay and analyzes the program’s potential as a tool for poverty alleviation and social change. Data were collected for women organized in CMEs (Committees of Enterprising Women) in two cities in Paraguay and include both documentary research for 1045 participants and interviews with 66 participants in 30 different groups. The paper provides information about the Paraguayan labor market for women and demographic data on CME participant but the focus of this research is on clients’ work histories, their dual roles as micro-entrepreneurs and care-givers, and their experiences within the village banking program. The researchers conclude that this village banking microfinance program contributes to poverty alleviation and female empowerment and that these impacts could be magnified with the addition of ancillary social services. Paper is co-authored by Amanda Heter of the Master's Program in Latin American Studies at the University of Kansas.

Palabras claves: Women, microfinance, Paraguay, informal sector, labor market

Autores: Birch, Melissa (University of Kansas, Ud States of Am / USA)

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