Advancing gender equality remains a pertinent challenge for the microfinance sector. It is an integral component to the process of poverty alleviation, and a necessity in the positive evolution of human development. It is also a fundamental human right. Recognising the centrality of gender equality to the success of the microfinance sector, INAFI Bangladesh seeks to reiterate and reinvestigate positions of its member organizations’ programmes in terms of definitions of gender and equality, and to conceptualise the nature of the gender problem in Bangladesh. It will provide INAFI Bangladesh’s responses and strategies for mainstreaming gender at the client level, and reinforce gender equality as a central concern of microfinance NGOs and MFIs in Bangladesh.
This study focuses on background information of the clients to know their gender situation, and also spotlighted their mobility, participation in decision-making, control over resources, their knowledge, awareness and practices, ownership of assets, their social linkages to understand their overall impact of being a micro-credit borrower, and beamed on their views as to how they think their gender situation can be improved.
This study report builds on primary data collected from the clients directly by visiting their house, and interviewed by the staff members of NGOs or MFIs concerned, and the assessment has covered 100 clients per organization. There had been 18 organizations involved1, and except GUK, Sajida Foundation, and SKS, every organization has interviewed 100 clients. While GUK covered 97, both Sajida and SKS covered 99 clients, and thus, the number of total respondents was 1795. The areas from where the data collected were: Mohaistan, Matirdali, Kakanhut, Godagari, Nozirpur, Naogoan, Singair, Manikgonj Sadar, Golachipa, Patuakhali, Gopalpur, Sirajganj, Madhan, Netrakona Sadar, Boera, Dhamrai, Gacha, Konabari, Pallabi & Lalbag (Dhaka), Savar Sadar, Hatuvhanga, Dewhata, Nesarabad, Pirojpur, Agyoldhara, Barisal, Mothkhola, Mirzapur, Daudkandi, Comilla, Banskhali,Chittagong, Gofor gaon, Kishorgonj Sadar, Shaghata, Chorgobindi, Ramchndrapur, Boali, Chunkutia, Keranigonj, Doati, and Subidpur. Prior to the assessment, a Gender Advisory Team was formed taking gender experts from different NGOs/MFIs, and a checklist developed, shared, fine-tuned, and distributed amongst the participating member organizations of INAFI Bangladesh. Members selected the interviewers, and the respondents were selected the interviewers, and the respondents were selected randomly those who have taken loans from them at least for three years.
Assessment of the micro-credit borrowing clients aims to inform different stakeholders at what milestones they stand in women empowerment movement. The overall objective of this research conducted by INAFI Bangladesh is to contribute to the process of developing in-house expertise of INAFI as well as of the organizations they are working with to use the gender checklist to know the status of women empowerment through their programmes, and improve their institutions as well as programmes. The methodologies developed and used included development of the information collection tool, fine-tuning and pre-testing the questionnaire, filling-up the questionnaires through one-to-one interviews, coding, editing, and analysis of data etc. The report consolidates the findings against some basic information of the respondents, and against some indicators such as mobility, participation in decision-making, control over resources, knowledge, awareness, and practices, ownership of assets, social linkages, and overall impact of being a micro-credit borrower, and respondents’ views on how to develop the gender situation.