Is women empowerment a zero sum game? Unintended consequences of Microfinance for women's empowerment in Ghana

Journal article


Salia, S, Hussain, J, Tingbani, I and Kolade, O. (2017). Is women empowerment a zero sum game? Unintended consequences of Microfinance for women's empowerment in Ghana. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour and Research. 24 (1), pp. 273-289.
AuthorsSalia, S, Hussain, J, Tingbani, I and Kolade, O.
Abstract

Purpose: Against the background of growing concerns that development interventions can sometimes be a zero-sum game, this paper examines 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.

KeywordsMicrofinance; Women Empowerment; Unintended Consequences; Ghana; 1503 Business And Management; Business & Management
Year2017
JournalInternational Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour and Research
Journal citation24 (1), pp. 273-289
PublisherEmerald Group Publishing Ltd.
ISSN1355-2554
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1108/IJEBR-04-2017-0114
Publication dates
Print01 Oct 2017
Publication process dates
Deposited29 Aug 2017
Accepted23 Aug 2017
Accepted author manuscript
License
CC BY 4.0
File Access Level
Open
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https://openresearch.lsbu.ac.uk/item/86x81

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