Women and Microcredit in the Philippines – February 2012
Microcredit is one of the most visible innovation in anti-poverty policy where it has been successful in bringing formal financial services to the poor.
Microfinance programs have the potential to transform power relations and empower the poor—both men and women. In well-run microfinance programs, there is a relationship of respect between the provider and the client that is inherently empowering.
The impact of women’s entrepreneurship on the global economy cannot be underestimated. In 2010, 104 million women in 59 of the world’s economies started and managed new business ventures, generating millions of jobs and contributing substantially to their domestic, as well as the world’s, gross domestic product. Around the world when women start businesses, the ripple effects are tremendous—they create jobs for others, build up household income, and invest accumulated savings back into the community in the form of health care, education, and food.
Microfinance in the Philippines has become a central component of many donor agencies’ and national governments’ gender, poverty alleviation, and community development strategies.
Poverty reduction remains as the main challenge of the Philippine government; and it is still largely a rural phenomenon. Microcredit is considered as an innovative financial intermediation scheme aimed to reduce incidence of poverty especially in the rural areas.