Subscribe to our Newsletter and get informed about new publication regulary and special discounts for subscribers!

ILSHS > ILSHS Volume 35 > Microfinance and Women Empowerment in Zimbabwe: A...
< Back to Volume

Microfinance and Women Empowerment in Zimbabwe: A Case of Women Development Fund in Umguza District

Full Text PDF


The gender dimension of poverty focuses on the dilemma of women, their numerous roles as women and their role in dealing with poverty. In many developing countries, women are discriminated upon in terms of their access to capital means of production; basic needs support, employment opportunities and access to credit facilities. In Zimbabwe, like in many developing countries, empowering women through micro-credit finance is viewed as a means of reducing women poverty, empowering them, reducing their vulnerability and improving their well-being especially in the rural areas. This paper discusses the role of the government of Zimbabwe in empowering rural women through the introduction Women Development Fund (WDF). The study was carried out in Umguza district in Matabeleland North province of Zimbabwe. The study employed mainly purposive sampling and data was collected using questionnaire, key informant interviews, focus group discussion observation and oral history. Research revealed that WDF as a strategy has made a difference in the livelihoods of the recipients through initiation of income generating projects. However the major handicap with WDF is that the amount of money given are small and that it was employed in isolate hence the need to have complementary initiatives such as capacity building, market networking among others.


International Letters of Social and Humanistic Sciences (Volume 35)
J. Selome and N. Tshuma, "Microfinance and Women Empowerment in Zimbabwe: A Case of Women Development Fund in Umguza District", International Letters of Social and Humanistic Sciences, Vol. 35, pp. 74-85, 2014
Online since:
July 2014

Amin S. and Pebley A. R. (1994). Gender Inequality within Households: The Impact of a Women's Development Programme in 36 Bangladeshi Village, Bangladesh Development Studies, XXII(2); 121-140.

Bateman M. (2011). Microfinance as a development and poverty reduction policy: is it everything it's cracked up to be? The Overseas Development Institute.

Boserup E. et al. (1970). Women's role in economic development. St. Martin's Press, New York.

Dichter T. (2006). Hype and Hope: The Worrisome State of the Microcredit Movement Evidence from the Grameen Bank, in IDS Bulletine, Vol. 29, No. 4, Oct.

Gail A. (2005). Microfinance and Development: Risk and Return from a Policy Outcome Perspective, Journal of Banking Regulation, 6(3).

Kabeer N. (2005). Reverse Realities. Gender Hierarchies in Development Thought. London, Verson.

Khandker Q. (1998). How Infrastructure and Financial Institutions Affect Rural Income and Poverty: Evidence from Bangladesh. Journal of Development Studies, 46(6); 1109-137.

Magaji S. (2004). Introduction to Project Evaluation ,. Sanitex press Abuja.

Meade J. (2001). An Examination of the Microcredit Movement. Accessed from http: /www. geocities. com/jasonmeade3000/Microcredit. html.

Montgomery H. (2005). Meeting the Double Bottom Line: The Impact of Khushali Bank's Microfinance Programme in Pakistan. MPRA Paper.

Montgomery R. (1996). Disciplining or protecting the poor? Avoiding the social costs of peer pressure in micro-credit schemes. Journal of International Development, 8(2); 289-305.

Morduch J. (1998). Does Mirco-finance Really Help the Poor: New Evidence from Flagship Programs in Bangladesh, Department of Economic and HIID, Harvard University and Hoover Institution, Stanford University.

Naved R. (1994). Empowerment of Women: Listening to the Voices of Women, in the Bangladesh Development Studies Special Issue on Women, Development and Change, XXII(2&3); 121-155, 155-179, Edited by Amin, S, BIDS, Dhaka.

Osmani L. N. K. (1998). The Grameen Bank Experiment: Empowerment of Women through Credit, in Afshar, Haleh (Ed. ) Women and Empowerment: Illustrations from The Third World, MacMillan Press LTD, New York.

Otero M. (1999) Bringing Development Back into Microfinance. Journal of Microfinance, 1(1); 8-19. 18.

Rankin K. N. (2001). Governing development: neoliberalism, microcredit, and rational economic woman. Economy & Society, 30(1); 18-37.

Schreiner M., Colombet H .H. (2001). From Urban to Rural: Lessons for Microfinance from Argentina. Development Policy Review, 19(3); 339-354.

UNDP (2005) United Nations Development Programme report.

UNIDO (2003): Developing Rural and Women Entreprenuarship report.

UNIFEM (2012) United Nations Fund for Women Development report.

WHO (2012) World Health Organisation report.

World Bank (2006) World Bank report.

Zaman, H. (2001).

Show More Hide
Cited By:

[1] F. Mustafa, A. Khursheed, M. Fatima, M. Rao, "Exploring the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on women entrepreneurs in Pakistan", International Journal of Gender and Entrepreneurship, Vol. ahead-of-print, 2021