This project will support 30 leaders of Women's Community based organisations from Bhavnagar, Amreli, Dahod & Mahisagar districts to be better prepared in Financial Management skills and accounting systems. This will prepare them to help their 4100 members to join a Gujarat State level Women's Credit Cooperative. Having experience in micro credit, this linkage will provide them access to larger resource pool to meet their needs for loans for livelihood, sanitation, education and health.
Bhavnagar & Amreli districts in coastal and Dahod & Mahisagar in tribal Gujarat are characterised by natural resource degradation, unsustainable agricultural practices, poor access to productive resources and continued gender discrimination. Due to existing monopoly of power structures; poor, vulnerable women lack the infrastructure and information to collectively discuss issues of representation, access and involvement in managing critical issues like their livelihood and other human rights.
Savings & Credit through MFIs foster a complementary relationship between community and financial inclusion. Federations currently operate as trusts; however, this categorization presents cumbersome government provisions. Transitioning to suitable MFIs like a Credit Cooperative provides legal and economic freedoms that will grant women greater independence, loan amounts, and opportunities to invest in their own business acumen and trainings for sustainable, feminist practices.
The joining of two credit cooperatives for 4100 women with State Women Credit Cooperatives/ setting up own MFIs will increase household income, build economic independence and foster social networks. The long-term impact of this project will empower women to strengthen their collective identity and allow them independent decision making for their economic development. With credit cooperative spaces, women can democratically and sustainably govern their own needs and rights.
This project has provided additional documentation in a DOCX file (projdoc.docx).
Research- Omidyar Network on Financial Exclusion