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Microfinance Revolution Aff

The advantage and solvency maybe should be collapsed into one contention Need to make a plan text Needs impact/impact framing

Cards that might belong in the 1AC?

Women are disproportionately affect by economic restructuring the free market cant solve for their systematic oppression Montes-Ireland (Masters degree in Women Studies & Ethnic Studies) 2011
Heather, Transnational Feminism and the Microfinance (R)evolution: Excavating Microlending from Neoliberalism, http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/xmlui/bitstream/handle/1957/22524/IrelandHeatherMontes2011.pdf?sequ ence=1//NDW)
The capacity for womens sense of agency in and for their/our own lives is significant and should be at the center of our ana lyses. But in acknowledging that agency, it becomes clear that there are matters in womens lives that are often more damaging than loss of ones self-respect. Structural issues such as lack of safety, health care, potable water, and bodily autonomy; threat of rape and sexual violence; murder, or death of a loved one to war, conflict or suicide all circumscribe womens 51 lives in coercive and limiting ways in a misogynist social world. These concerns are the realities of womens lives around the world as they/we are disproportionately affected by

economic restructuring, militarization, environmental degradation, and gendered violence. It is imprudent to suppose that the systems of neoliberalism and capital accumulation, which demand that some remain disadvantaged while others profit tremendously, will be altered solely by providing access to capitalist market mechanisms. Supporting the poor in their efforts to engage in a free market that will theoretically enable them to ascend up out of povertywithout confronting the inequalities within systems of globalization and development, the restructuring of global economy, and capitalism itselfwill by no means be a sufficient long term remedy to the problems of poor women around the world. The market that exploits the very same poor racialized women that microfinance erroneously claims it will help must not be seen as the answer. Rather, we must commit to a transnational feminist economic justice politic, like that which I have articulated, to alleviate poverty. Subsequently, I use a transnational feminist economic justice paradigm to map the pitfalls of microfinance in order to suggest transformational strategies.

1AC Microfinance Revolution V 1

The Squo
Microfinance fails Mexican women now A. High interest rates and little government supervision leave them uniquely vulnerable Epstein and Smith 7[KEITH EPSTEIN is an award-winning investigative editor and writer and strategic and business
intelligence advisor with knowledge and networks across industries and in the nations capital, where he has worked for 25 ye ars. He has investigated and provided qualitative analysis of major companies and CEOs for large institutional investors, advised leadership on emerging challenges and opportunities at AARP, written for major newspapers and magazines, and directed original investigative projects with national news organizations, scaling work and audience across multiple platforms for maximum impact. Geri L. Smith is BusinessWeek's Mexico City bureau manager, a position she assumed in September, 1992. She is responsible for covering Latin America. Bloomberg Business Week The Ugly Side of Microlending December 12, 2007 http://www.businessweek.com/stories/2007 -12-12/theugly-side-of-microlending]//DLi How big Mexican banks profit as many poor borrowers get trapped in a maze of debt In a gleaming office tower in Mexico City secured with retinal scanners, bulletproof glass, and armed guards, dozens of workers in white lab coats dart around a large operations center monitoring long rows of computers. Along one wall, 54 enormous screens flicker dizzyingly with numbers, graphs, and fever charts: a relentless stream of data. You'd think the urgent mission involved tracking the trajectory of a spacecraft or

the workings of a national power grid, not tiny amounts of cash and credit for Mexico's working poor. The transactions are so minuscule they hardly seem worth the bother. The average loan amounts to $257. But for Banco Azteca, a swiftly growing bank affiliated with Latin America's largest household retailer, the small sums represent a torrent of revenue that has caught even its founders by surprise. For three decades, microlending was seen as a tool of nonprofit economic development. Now poor people are turning into one of the world's least likely sources of untapped profit, primarily because they will pay interest rates most Americans would consider outrageous, if not usurious. With no legal limits on interest levels and little government oversight, for-profit banks in Mexico impose annual interest rates on poor borrowers that typically range from 50% to 120%. That compares with a worldwide average of 31% among nonprofit micro-lending institutions, and the 22% to 29% that Americans with bad credit histories incur on credit-card
debt. Azteca's business model succeeds not only because it can charge credit-starved clients almost whatever it wants. Equally important is that low-income Mexicans anxious about maintaining their reputation tend to pay back what they owe,

regardless of the hardship. Those who slip behind receive frequent visits from motorcycle-riding collection agents. Default rates are infinitesimal. "We lend to them as much as they can borrow," says Azteca ViceChairman Luis Nio de Rivera, "and they can borrow as much as they can pay." WHIFF OF PROFITS In a Mexico that is modernizing economically even as most people still struggle to make ends meet, Azteca has discovered an improbable market for financial services. Much larger companies based in the U.S. and Europe also have picked up the whiff of profits. Wal-

Mart Stores (WMT), which obtained a Mexican banking license a year ago, began offering loans for purchases at 16 of its 997 Mexican outlets in November. In the U.S., the retailer markets itself as a friend to the budget-conscious. In Mexico, it charges interest rates that might set off popular and political revolts back home, although Wal-Mart describes its terms as appropriate to the Mexican market. At one store west of Mexico City, a 32-inch
LG plasma TV with a price tag of $957 can ultimately cost as much as $1,474, thanks to a 52-week payment plan that carries an annual percentage rate (APR) of 86%. Banamex (C), Mexico's second-largest bank and a wholly owned unit of

Citigroup, is stepping up its pitches of personal loans to the working poor in 127 cities where it operates shops
called Crdito Familiar, or Family Credit. HSBC Holdings (HSBC) last year bought a 20% stake in Financiera Independencia, a highinterest consumer lender that went public on Nov. 1. The Swiss insurer Zurich Financial Services (ZFSVY) is

underwriting term life insurance policies that are sold along with small loans in Mexico. And homegrown nonprofit Compartamos morphed into a full-fledged commercial bank last year; it went public in April, reaping hundreds of millions of dollars for investors. All are examples of how financial players worldwide are pursuing profits by putting loans within reach of deprived borrowers. Access to credit opens opportunities for the poor (BusinessWeek, 12/14/07). But it creates tempting hazards as well, which in Mexico are drawing many unsophisticated families into a maze of debts. Pawnshops and loan sharks, whose interest rates of up to 300% have plagued generations of Mexicans, now face rivals offering terms that are less harsh. But along the road to previously unavailable financing, some Mexicans are stumbling badly. The Arana family is but a blip

on one of the wide screens at Azteca's operations center. Beneath the digital glimmer lies a story of striving. Adrin

Arana Snchez, his wife, Francisca, and their extended family take whatever work they can find, adding a few pesos here and there. Last July, Adrin lost an $80-a-week job delivering soft drinks to stores in gritty, exhaust-choked San Martn Texmelucan, a city of 143,000 two hours southeast of Mexico City. He now brings home half that amount peddling vegetables door to door and making plaster-cast statuettes of Jesus. Francisca sells crunchy slices of jicama root outside an elementary school. With four children, two grandchildren, and a son-in-law, they live in a four-room cinderblock house in the shadow of snow-capped volcanoes once revered by the Aztecs. Although indigent by U.S. or Western European standards, the Aranas see themselves as aspiring consumers and even as entrepreneurs in a society that makes all manner of goods and services available for what seem like manageable weekly payments. Banco Azteca plays a central role in that emerging credit economy. Started five years ago, it operates from the nearly 800 locations of its parent, Grupo Elektra, Latin America's largest electronics and home appliance chain. Elektra/Azteca has the sort of ubiquitous presence that Wal-Mart enjoys in the U.S. SEEKING A MIDDLE-CLASS LIFE The dazzling yellow facades of Elektra/Azteca outlets shout for attention in rundown
neighborhoods. Inside the store across from the Catholic cathedral in San Martn Texmelucan, a tag on a six-speaker sound system throbbing with ranchero music carries a price of $691, but larger bold print stresses weekly payments of only $16. An installment plan can be arranged by Azteca staffers who work from metal desks at the back. Over 18 months, the weekly payments nearly double the price, to $1,248. That's an APR of 88%. APR is commonly used in the U.S. to compare total loan costs. In Mexico, Azteca isn't legally obliged to disclose itand doesn't. (Mexican loans include a 15% tax on financial services.) Adrin Arana, 50 years old and with a sixth-grade education, has become a regular customer at this branch of Elektra/Azteca. He and Francisca, who completed only the second grade, have

obtained a series of small loans over the past four years to purchase a CD player, bicycle, TV, video camera, and bedroom furniture. In 2006 they took the next step, borrowing $920 to pursue a long-cherished ambition: opening a dry-goods store in the front room of their house. They saw the store as a means to achieve stability, and maybe a middleclass life. But like many tiny businesses started by inexperienced proprietors, this one soon failed. A neighbor had just opened a similar but better-stocked home shop. The Aranas toiled diligently at their other jobs to pay back the loan, missing some weekly payments and incurring late fees. With an APR of 105%, the loan ended up costing about $1,485 over a year. But they paid it off. Determined to try again, they were back at Azteca in February with a new plan, this time to start a gift
shop. Azteca granted them a bigger loan, for $1,380 over 18 months, but deducted $65 up front, leaving the Aranas with $1,315 and an APR of 90%. They say they didn't understand these terms. They focused instead on the weekly payment of

only $32. "They never tell you what the interest rate is," says Adrin. "They say, Sign here,' but they don't give you time to read everything." Some Azteca executives concede that borrowers sometimes walk away confused. "Terms are explained to them, maybe not as clearly as they should be, but many clients don't understand," says Pedro Morales, head of the bank's local legal department. "They take on financial
commitments they can't meet." But Nio de Rivera, the bank's vice-chairman, says: "There is no pressure to sign loans, and consumers are encouraged to shop around freely for what best suits their needs." The Aranas used the $1,315 to buy picture frames, toys, and inexpensive cosmetics, which they displayed in their front room, beneath a dangling lightbulb illuminating a portrait of the Virgin of Guadalupe. Once

again, their business faltered. Two textile factories in the area had closed recently, throwing thousands out of work. Mexico offers no government benefits to cushion such adversity. The Aranas saw
few customers. For six months they made their payments, but then, in July, Adrin lost his soft-drink delivery job. By September, past-due notices and interest charges were piling up, and an Azteca collection agent was visiting regularly. "We either eat or we pay off

the loan," says Adrin. The despairing family resorted to borrowing $200 from a loan shark at 10% a month. Informal lending of this sort, despite its attendant threat of violence, is not prohibited in Mexico. Azteca's local collections chief,
Alejandro Tejeda, says it's a shame that borrowers can land in such trouble. "But these people made a commitment, and they need to live up to it," he says. With no money to pay the loan shark or Azteca, and fearing that the bank will seize their

few belongings, the Aranas are trying to sell their house. So far they haven't found a buyer, and if they do, it's not clear where they would live. They're keeping food on the table, barely, with Adrin's door-to-door sales of tomatoes
and herbs, which he transports in the basket of a large tricycle. "We never thought this would happen," he says. "We're sinking fast." Banco Azteca and Grupo Elektra are key parts of Grupo Salinas, an amalgam of media, telecommunications, and retail businesses controlled by billionaire Ricardo B. Salinas Pliego. A maverick among Mexico's business elite, he has sparked controversy. In 2006 he settled civil fraud allegations by the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission concerning the finances of his TV network, then traded on the New York Stock Exchange. He denied wrongdoing but paid $7.5 million and was barred for five years from serving as an executive or director of companies listed in the U.S. The Salinas family began selling furniture on credit more than a century ago in the northern city of Monterrey. Ricardo, 51, says he learned early in life that those who work in Mexico's informal economy, without pay stubs or much collateral, and who can't afford sofas or blenders outright, will snap up merchandise if offered seemingly manageable terms. "If you want to become rich, sell to the poor," he recalls his grandfather instructing him. He learned to get even richer by lending to the poor, and to those who are better off. Azteca targets 14.5 million Mexican families earning $5,100 to $33,600 a year. Mexico has a total population of 109 million, with a median annual household income of $7,297. Mainstream Mexican banks cater to the wealthier elite, while less than one-third of working-poor

families have access to any banking services at all. Azteca has absorbed Elektra's ethos of high-pressure employee quotas and incentives. Elektra clerks, clothed in the store's signature bright yellow, earn commissions on top of their standard weekly salary of $120 for tacking on extras such as warranties, life insurance, and even long-distance bus tickets. The biggest score comes from persuading a customer to spread payments over the longest possible period, 104 weeks. "Sell on credit and earn much more money!" an online company training manual states. MOTORBIKE CAVALRY The strategy has far exceeded the expectations of Grupo Elektra executives. The bank already

contributes one-fifth of its parent's $5 billion in annual revenue. It boasts a consumer loan portfolio of $2 billion and a healthy 22.3% return on shareholder equity. The main Elektra/Azteca branch in San Martn
Texmelucan aims to meet a daily target of $9,000 in fresh loans. The money isn't spewed out carelessly. With efficiency unusual in the Mexican marketplace, the bank deploys a cavalry of credit and collection agents on motorbikes. These jefes de crdito y cobranza visit borrowers within 24 hours of a purchase or loan application. Juan Carlos Prez Lopanzi, a 25-year-old college

graduate who studied international commerce, serves as one of 13 credit agents in San Martn Texmelucan. One October morning, he rumbles up to the home of Maria Teresa Hernndez as neighbors peer from their windows. Hernndez, a 50-year-old street vendor, wants to borrow $460 for a new hot dog wagon. She isn't home, so Lopanzi questions her adult daughter about the family's finances. Do they rent or own? Have they lived there at least two years? What do they spend on food? With each answer, Lopanzi taps the screen of a handheld computer. Data will be routed to Azteca's operations center in Mexico City. The state-of-the-art system keeps the cost of
processing 7 million transactions a day to a mere 3 cents per transaction, according to Azteca. "It's amazingall this is for poor people," says Juan Arvalo Carranza, the bank's technology chief. Back in dusty San Martn Texmelucan, Azteca's proprietary software alerts the agent, Lopanzi, that Hernndez, who earns $276 a month, doesn't qualify for a $460 loan. He offers $370 instead. That will require $10.60 weekly payments for 12 months for an APR of 85%. Hernndez will end up paying $551. "If she had more income, she could have a shorter payback period, and the interest rate would be lower," the agent explains to the daughter. She shrugs, then nods in acceptance. "Tell her

she can go by the store this afternoon for her check," Lopanzi says, as he registers the serial numbers of the daughter's stereo, DVD player, TV, and refrigerator. The items' resale value, preprogrammed into Lopanzi's digital device, must add up to around double the value of the loan. If the woman fails to pay, Azteca will cart away the daughter's possessions and sell them in a Grupo Elektra used-goods store. Azteca deducts the depreciated value of seized goods from outstanding loan balances, so if someone who doesn't pay has enough possessions to cover the debt, the bank considers it paid. Azteca bars such customers from borrowing again but doesn't count them as having defaulted, which helps explain its stated loan failure rate of just 1%. Banks serving more prosperous clients
average a 5.3% default rate on consumer loans. Mexican lenders benefit from attitudes cultivated in a society lacking a welfare safety net, personal bankruptcy system, or meaningful consumer protection laws. Credit bureaus have recently sprung up in Mexico, including one that Elektra helped start in 2005, and many among the working poor worry about sullying their new credit ratings. They assume that, one way or the other, they or their relatives will just have to pay back whatever they borrow, says Gustavo A. Del Angel, an economic historian who studies micro-finance at the Center of Research & Economic Teaching in Mexico City. `BAD MANNERS' Borrowers who fall

behind realistically fear public embarrassment. Photocopies of debtors' national identification cards sometimes turn up on telephone poles and at central marketplaces with warnings that say "DON'T LEND TO THIS PERSON!" Six months ago, an Azteca agent in San Martn Texmelucan posted such flyers. The company fired
him. "Our system is not intended to be publicly shaming," says Nio de Rivera, Azteca's vice-chairman, but he acknowledges it "is intended to exercise peer pressure." Even as Mexico's economy modernizes, companies operate with minimal

oversight from government. Luis Pazos, head of Condusef, Mexico's regulator of consumer financial transactions, says his agency
logs complaints about Azteca's collection methods and the adequacy of its disclosure of credit terms. "We've talked with that bank about the bad manners they've had," he says. But Condusef hasn't taken any substantial action against Azteca, which says it

scrupulously polices the behavior of its employees. Last year, in a brash move characteristic of Grupo Salinas, lawyers
for Azteca went to court rather than comply with a new law requiring banks to inform clients of the total financing costs they are charged. Azteca sought a type of protective order with which individuals or companies can shield themselves from application of a particular law or other government action. A federal judge granted the exception. Freed of disclosure requirements, Azteca continues stressing

weekly payments rather than long-term interest rates. When pressed for its average annual rate, Azteca asserts that it is about 55%. But Chuck Waterfield, a consultant based in Lancaster, Pa., who specializes in financial modeling for micro-lenders, points out that if Azteca's average rate is translated to make it comparable with APRs in the U.S., it comes to 110%. That's because Azteca charges interest on the full amount borrowed throughout
the life of the loan, even as the principal declinesnot on the declining balance, as is common in the U.S. An adjunct professor at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs, Waterfield has no relationship with Azteca. When Azteca loans go bad, the results can be bruising for borrowers. Porfirio Soriano Prez and his son Zalatiel bought a $1,435 Chinese-made motorcycle last year on an 18-month plan that required $29 weekly payments. They intended to use the bike to scout out customers for the parsley they grow on several acres just outside San Martn Texmelucan. The Sorianos knew the 68% financing would boost the motorcycle's total cost to $2,289, but they lacked cash to pay up front. In February, disaster hit. A hailstorm wiped out their crop and with it their $350 monthly income. "Suddenly," says Porfirio, "we had nothing to sell, and no money." They fell behind on payments. Soon a

collection agent began showing up at the extended Soriano family's unpainted home. In October,

Azteca delivered written warning of legal action. "The problem is that people go into the store and buy out of pure emotion," says Morales, chief of Azteca's local legal department. The Sorianos already had paid $1,560 on the motorcyclemore than the original sticker priceand owed about $700 more, but ended up returning the purchase. That erased the debt in Porfirio's name. The company will resell the bike and recover the money it's owed. The Sorianos, meanwhile, have nothing left to plant a new crop.

B. The dialogue around microfinance is disempowering now it asks lenders to fight structural barriers by joining the free market which only increases exploitation Montes-Ireland (Masters degree in Women Studies & Ethnic Studies) 2011
Heather, Transnational Feminism and the Microfinance (R)evolution: Excavating Microlending from Neoliberalism, http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/xmlui/bitstream/handle/1957/22524/IrelandHeatherMontes2011.pdf?sequ ence=1//NDW) Microfinance has been heralded as the preeminent solution to the problem of poverty across the globe,
especially that of women. As it is beloved of capitalist politicians and social activists alike (Bowman 491), it has since become the major ideology eclipsing much of the more nuanced discussion around the feminization of poverty worldwide and the consequences of corporate globalization and economic restructuring on womens lives in the global South and North. It is captivating and emotionally gr atifying for those who consider poverty a crime against humanity to hear of the heartfelt case studies of impoverished women whose lives were transforme d when they started their home business with the help of a loan (Bowman 48 491). Microfinance is alluring as an answer because it is

immediate, and it promises to achieve what previous models of development could not attain (Fernando 2007, 2). For many women, unable to find jobs in their local economies that would provide a living wage, and who have barely enough to feed their families and survive day to day, microcredit loans are one way in which they might better their immediate situations. Yet the deficiencies in the microfinance concept as it imagines the goal of empowering women to
help themselves out of poverty are rarely acknowledged. Lamia Karim (2011) argues microfinance and its institutional control have potentially very detrimental impacts on womens lives. Though Karim is concerned mainly with the disciplining of bodies through the NGO shadow state, whereas Im looking specifically at/for womens gendered experiences of microfinance, I find her case studies of women borrowers useful in illustrating some of my own critiques. Certainly microfinance cannot be the resolution to the problems of poor women in contexts where their land is being taken in what Vandana Shiva identifies as land grabs by foreign real estate developers (Goodman 2006). Increa sing privatization of public goods, cutbacks in social services, and structural adjustment policies are all aspects of a larger system of structural violence that circumscribe womens lives. Instead of addressing this complex web of systemic inequity that causes violence, microfinance fu rther compounds the neoliberal ideologies of economic restructuring, most predominantly that human interest is best served through the withdrawal of the state from welfarist policies (Karim xiii). 49 Indeed, Dr. Muhammad Yunus, founder of Grameen Bank and credited for establishing t he practice of microfinance as we know it, claims that while [e]conomic protectionism, subsidies, and welfare benefits were instituted by well-meaning people to soften capitalisms hard edges (206), it is the private sphere alone that must cure poverty. Microfinance, he argues, can create a sociallyconscious capitalism and therefore eliminate poverty through private (micro)enterprise. Yunus explains that the reason global poverty persists is that Models that rely on government action [] are limited in their ability to put poverty where it belongsin a museum. The key missing links are grassroots, private sector approaches that focus on the poorest of the poor, but in a way that is businesslike and allows for preservation of investor capital and financial sustainability over time (2006, vii-viii). The philosophy that microfinance is a miraculous cure-

all for poverty has generated so much enthusiasm for microfinance that it has taken on a religious fervor among its advocates (Karim xiii). Microfinance advocates contend that microlending offers the poor opportunities to make their own choices, run small businesses, invest profits back into their businesses and families, educate their children, and ultimately to conjure solutions to their own problems. Yunus and other microfinance advocates actively ignore the structural violence of womens lives, or deem microfinance (and more accurately, the free market) somehow indifferent to the dominance, subjugation, and systemic inequalities of our social world. 50 Authors Kristof and WuDunn of the bestselling book Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into
Opportunity for Women Worldwide espouse, [m]icrofinance has done more to bolster the status of women, and to protect them fr om abuse, than any laws could accomplish (187). They insist that neediness and public assistance is disempowering whereas the

phenomenon of microfinance allows instead for people to maintain their dignity; this dignity is maintained by not feeling as if one is receiving a handout. This concept of dignity is not the same as imagined by human rights discourse wherein a human dignity is accorded to individuals by birth, not by the nation state. It is also quite distinctive from that of feminist scholars who argue that womens dignity is jeopardized by misogyny, racism, homophobia and poverty, of its own accord. This male-centric construct of dignity and what is figured as disempowering to the poor ignores womens agency and the realities of womens oppression, even as it claims concern.

This dignity relies on masculinized free market, individualistic ideals that erase structural violence in womens lives, and then construct the illusion of opportunity in the space created by the erasure of such violence.

C. Past successes means microfinance institutions act for profit Time 2012 (What Went Wrong with Microfinance? http://business.time.com/2012/03/14/whatwent-wrong-with-microfinancing///NDW) Its a world away from three decades ago, when banks ignored the worlds poor, leaving many of them unable to borrow money at affordable rates. In the beginning, microfinance sought to alleviate poverty by giving out tiny loans to help people start small businesses. Popularized by Bangladeshi economist and
Nobel Peace Prize laureate Muhammad Yunus and Grameen Bank, which he founded in 1983, the microfinance industry has since grown to hundreds of institutions serving more than 150 million borrowers worldwide. But the last few years have brought growing

pains to microfinance. As nonprofits proved the worlds poor to be reliable clients, many of these same institutions transformed into for-profit lenders or banks, and rapidly expanded their outreach, along with their profits. Their financial success pointed the way for traditional banks and for-profit agencies to move into the market, thereby increasing competition. Lucrative initial public offerings from Mexicos Compartamos Banco in 2007 and Indias SKS Microfinance Ltd. in 2010 triggered heated debate about profiting off the poor. Last year, in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, the local government restricted microfinance after a
string of borrower suicides led to accusations of exploitation, harsh collection tactics and exorbitant interest rates. Controversy even spread to Bangladesh, where prime minister Sheikh Hasina declared microfinance was sucking blood from the poor in the

name of poverty alleviation. In March, Bangladeshs central bank removed Yunus still revered in the industry as
microfinances patriarch as managing director of Grameen Bank and exerted greater control over the institution.

Profit oriented microfinance can never solve credit outside of an economic justice paradigm ignores the structural causes of poverty and oppression of women of color Montes-Ireland (Masters degree in Women Studies & Ethnic Studies) 2011
Heather, Transnational Feminism and the Microfinance (R)evolution: Excavating Microlending from Neoliberalism, http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/xmlui/bitstream/handle/1957/22524/IrelandHeatherMontes2011.pdf?s equence=1//NDW) While microfinance institutions (MFIs) offer extremely high repayment rates as evidence of their programmatic success, feminist scholars have begun to question the cost to the poor women borrowers of microcredit to accord those repayment rates and whether the rhetoric of empowerment holds true in womens lived experiences (Karim 2011; Poster & Salime 2002). My goals are to map the problems and pitfalls of microfinance, and in doing so, to also move beyond binarisms employed in discourses of globalization so as to situate microfinance in a more nuanced analysis of power and domination in womens lives. First, we must understand microfinance
as it is caught up with neoliberalism and global economic restructuring in order to understand it as a potential tool for economic justice. I argue microfinance in its current and evermore profit-oriented form ignores the structural dimensions

that cause poverty and the material realities of the lives of women of color around the world. The
structural 47 violence of womens lives stems from the gendered and racialized international division of labor, capitalisms inherent exploitation of surplus labor and women of color historically, and histories of colonialism as well as modern day neo -colonialism and imperialism. Without a feminist economic justice paradigm that takes these factors into account,

microfinance cannot effectively fight poverty (or sustain poverty alleviation), nor can it provide the conditions in which women will lead economically just, empowered existences. Here I will provide a
transnational feminist critique of microfinance, and I will also briefly elaborate some of the aspects of microfinance that may challenge capitalism which I will discuss further in the next chapter. Further, I will demonstrate that microfinance programs control the

rhetoric around microfinance and have constructed a controlling image of the deserving poor.

Thus the plan: the United States federal government should fund low fixed-interest microfinance in Mexico and require significant debt relief on existing accrued interest for companies in the United States

The Advantage
Mexico is the key starting pointextremely high interest rates and exploitation MacFarquhar 10 [Neil Graham MacFarquhar has been the United Nations bureau chief of The New York Times since June 2008.
From November 2006 to May 2008, he was a national correspondent, based in San Francisco, for the Times. He was the Middle East correspondent for the paper, based in Cairo, from 2001 until 2006. Banks Making Big Profits From Tiny Loans The New York Times, April 13, 2010 http://microrate.com/media/downloads/2012/04/New-York-Times-Banks-Making-Big-Profits-From-Tiny-Loans-13-April2010.pdf]//DLi We created microcredit to fight the loan sharks; we didnt create microcredit to encourage new loan

sharks, Mr. Yunus recently said at a gathering of financial officials at the United Nations. Microcredit should be seen as an opp ortunity to
help people get out of poverty in a business way, but not as an opportunity to make money out of poor people. The fracas over preserving the fields saintly aura centers on the question of how much interest and profit is acceptable, and what constitutes exploitation . The noisy interest rate fight has even attracted Congressional scrutiny, with the House Financial Services Committee holding hearings this year focused in part on whether some microcredit institutions are scamming the poor. Rates vary widely across the globe, but the ones that draw

the most concern tend to occur in countries like Nigeria and Mexico, where the demand for small loans from a large population cannot be met by existing lenders. Unlike virtually every Web page trumpeting the accomplishments of microcredit institutions around the world, the page for Te Creemos, a Mexican lender, lacks even one testimonial from a thriving customer no beaming woman earning her first income by growing a soap business out of her kitchen, for example. Te Creemos has some of the highest interest rates and fees in the world of microfinance, analysts say, a whopping 125 percent average annual rate. The average in Mexico itself is around 70 percent, compared with a global average of about 37 percent in interest and fees, analysts say. Mexican microfinance institutions charge such high rates simply because they can get away with it, said Emmanuelle
Javoy, the managing director of Planet Rating, an independent Paris-based firm that evaluates microlenders. They could do better; they could do a lot better, she said. If the ones that are very big and have the margins dont set the pace, then the rest of the

market follows. Manuel Ramrez, director of risk and internal control at Te Creemos, reached by telephone in Mexico City, initially said
there had been some unspecified misunderstanding about the numbers and asked for more time to clarify, but then stopped responding.

Unwitting individuals, who can make loans of $20 or more through Web sites like Kiva or Microplace, may also end up participating in practices some consider exploitative. These Web sites admit that they cannot guarantee every interest rate they quote. Indeed, the real rate can prove to be markedly higher.

Micro Finance has the tools to empower women within society, especially through a micro finance institute Cheston and Kuhn(, Susan Cheston Senior Vice President, Policy and Research, Opportunity
International, and Executive Director Emeritus of the Womens Opportunity Fund Lisa Kuhn, Program Analyst, Opportunity International) 2002 (Empowering women through micro finance, research paper sponsored by UNIFEM, http://storage.globalcitizen.net/data/topic/knowledge/uploads/201101311419705.pdf) Microfinance has the potential to have a powerful impact on womens empowerment. Although microfinance is not always empowering for all women, most women do experience some degree of empowerment as a result. Empowerment is a complex process of change that is experienced by all individuals somewhat differently. Women need, want, and profit from credit and other financial services. Strengthening womens financial base and economic contribution to their families and communities plays a role in empowering them. In some cases, access to credit may be the only input needed to start women on the road to empowerment. But power is deeply rooted in our social systems and values. It
permeates all aspects of our lives from our family to our communities, from our personal dreams and aspirations to our economic opportunities. It is unlikely that any one intervention such as the provision of credit or the provision of training will completely alter power and gender relations. Women often value the non-economic benefits of a group-lending program as much as or more

than the credit. Some of the most valued benefits include expanded business and social networks, improved self-esteem, increased household decision-making power, and increased respect and prestige from both male and female relatives and community members. Targeting women continues to be important in the design of products and services, both because women by default have less access to

credit and because they face constraints unique to their gender. Product design and program planning should take womens needs and assets into account. By building an awareness of the potential impacts of their programs,
MFIs can design products, services, and service delivery 98 For more information, see Yawe Agnes, Engendering Microfinance Services: Beyond Access, presented at the Womens Empowerment or Feminisation of Debt? workshop in London, March 2002 (available at www.oneworldaction.org).51 mechanisms that mitigate negative impacts and enhance positive ones. Even when products and services target primarily women, women still face considerable disadvantages relative to men because of more limited business networks and opportunities, greater domestic burden, weaker self-confidence, less education, and, in many cases, a restrictive legal environment. These disadvantages can sometimes be perpetuated in microfinance programs, with men dominating mixed lending groups and women receiving smaller loan amounts than men. As Wariara Mbugua of UNFPA says, No longer can this strategy be reduced to simple income-generating activities through revolving funds, but rather it entails and includes other elements of empowerment such as leadership, self-management, networking and entrepreneurship.99 By adopting a holistic approach that takes into account cultural, economic, and political factors affecting womens empowerment, MFIs can ensure that women are more deeply and consistently empowered through their


And, microfinance enfranchises marginalized populations by making credit a right instead of a tool of commerce Montes-Ireland (Masters degree in Women Studies & Ethnic Studies) 2011
Heather, Transnational Feminism and the Microfinance (R)evolution: Excavating Microlending from Neoliberalism, http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/xmlui/bitstream/handle/1957/22524/IrelandHeatherMontes2011.pdf?sequ ence=1//NDW) In order to theorize the ways microfinance can be utilized for purposes of economic justice, I argue that microcredit can offer a way to enfranchise those who are disenfranchised by structures of global capital such as financial institutions. 81 Muhammad Yunus (1996) has pointed out the ways the credit and banking sector pronounces a death sentence on a huge segment of the worlds population by favoring the rich and rejecting the poor as unworthy of credit (150). In response to the disenfranchisement from the financial industry experienced by the poor, Yunus proposes that credit should be a human right. To conceive of credit as a human right rather than merely a means with which to lubricate the wheels of trade, commerce and industry, is to understand the economic power of credit which quickly translates into social power (Yunus, 150). I find the idea of credit as a human right and the peoples economy that Yunus believes microfinance can create to be an exciting concept for social justiceas I believe this peoples economy can be part of the noncorporate globalization that women participate in and that transnational feminists such as Desai (2009)
encourage. Yet, as I have previously shown, Yunus lack of attention to structural violence and to the gendered aspects of the global economy with which women contend leaves this theory lacking. I will discuss the ways women, and particularly women of color, experience disenfranchisement from the systems of global capital that concomitantly shape womens economic lives and inflict economic violence that women have few options to combat. In describing the ways that women are disenfranchised, I then suggest that microcredit can provide

enfranchisement because of its microeconomic scale that potentially can enfranchise women into a peoples globalization that offers noncapitalist economic openings. There are three key ways women are disenfranchised by hegemonic global capitalism, and that I believe microcredit can contest, that I will attend to here: 82 invisibilization, commodification and discipline. I explore in this section some of the repercussions of disenfranchisement as experienced by women of color in the U.S. and global South, and how microfinance operates to enfranchise women who would normally reside in the economic margins. Womens participation in the capitalist structures in which they would otherwise not be entitled to, and are in fact restricted from, results in something distinct and ultimately a more complex social formation, one which is not dominantly or only capitalist (GibsonGraham, 131). I believe that as a consequence of incorporating the very bodies typically rendered invisible, commodified, and disciplined as capitals Others, this generates tears in the capitalist fabric that exists for/by economic elites. A function of capitalism and free market ideology is delineating those with capital as Human while naturalizing the poor, those without capital, as a less-human/less-deserving/less-worthy Other. Simultaneously, such ideology obscures the power relations of vast economic disparities created by capitalism.

As the disenfranchised claim subjectivity apart from capitals Other, as economic actors, these dynamic and conflictual interactions (Gibson-Graham, 131) shape new economic formations which act to challenge hegemonic global capital situated in heteropatriarchal white supremacy.

Empowerment is a prerequisite to solve other global issues

Cheston and Kuhn 2[Susy Cheston, Senior Vice President, Policy and Research, Opportunity , International, and Executive Director
Emeritus of the Womens Opportunity Fund. Lisa Kuhn, Program Analyst, Opportunity International Research sponsored by the Womens Opportunity Fund and its funding partners: Elizabeth Foster and Michael Walsh, Gems of Hope USA, and the Morrow Charitable Trust. Publication sponsored by UNIFEM. Empowering Women through Microfinance http://storage.globalcitizen.net/data/topic/knowledge/uploads/201101311419705.pdf 7/8/2]//DLi The influence of society over the range and exercise of choice also means that if we seek to promote empowerment, we must

also consider factors affecting womens status and rights as a group. Although many microfinance programs promote social solidarity at some level, most microfinance organizations tend to focus their attention on promoting changes at an individual levela woman who, for instance, is now able to send her children to school, negotiate lower prices for her
raw materials, or even dream bigger dreams for herself, her family, and her business. The achievements of individual women can have a powerful impact on the way women are perceived and treated within their communities, but the levels of empowerment individual women

may achieve are usually limited if women as a group are generally disempowered. For that reason many
organizations also include elements designed to uplift women and communities as a collective rather than just as individuals. Some examples: A womens Trust Bank in Colombia organizing to bring electricity to their barrio, Women fighting against

domestic violence after learning about their rights in their lending centers in Nepal, and Working Womens Forum in India organizing women weavers to break the monopoly access to raw materials that the all-male government-sponsored weavers cooperatives enjoyed. At Opportunity International empowerment is a critical part of our
vision for holistic transformation. Seeking to enable the poor to become agents of change in their communities, our approach encompasses social, economic, political, and spiritual empowerment within the individual, household, business, and community. In most cases, we have found that these processes are mutually reinforcing. The empowerment of women at the individual level helps build a base for

social change. Movements to empower women as a group increase opportunities available to individual women, and economic empowerment can increase womens status in their families and societies. Practically speaking, the interrelatedness of different aspects of empowerment and between empowerment and development makes it very difficult to move far ahead in any one area without corresponding changes in other areas. Sooner or later, lack of
empowerment will slow down economic and political development, just as a lack of progress in meeting peoples basic needs will limit empowerment because poverty itself is disempowering. WHY SHOULD MFIs CARE ABOUT WOMENS EMPOWERMENT? 23 An activist in the Drita Womens Group, Prishtina, Kosovo, as quoted in International Helsinki Federations for Human Rights (IHF), Women 2000: An Investigation into the Status of Womens Rights in Central and South-eastern Europe and the Newly Independent States (Helsinki: IHF, 2000). 134 Empowerment of women and gender equality are prerequisites for achieving political, social,

economic, cultural, and environmental security among all peoples.24 As this statement from the Fourth United Nations World Conference on Women and much of the evidence presented thus far in this paper have shown, womens empowerment is a critical part of sustainable development. Yet microfinances great potential to empower poor women to a large extent often goes unrealized. Although studies show that microfinance can and does empower women, it has the potential to empower many more, even more greatly.

Microfinance includes services Momaya 9 (Masum, Curator of International Museum for Women, Honors Bachelors degree in Public Policy and Feminist
Studies from Stanford University, master's in Education and a doctorate in Human Development and Psychology from Harvard University, on the board of the Third Wave Foundation; 10/14/2009; More than Microfinance; http://www.imow.org/economica/stories/viewStory?storyid=3660//NDW)
Since then, practices and definitions have evolved. What was earlier called "microcredit," which refers just to providing loans, is now referred to as "microfinance," which describes a range of financial services--including savings accounts and insurance

policies--in addition to loans and other supportive services. Such additional services may include basic and financial literacy, skills-based education, nutrition education and health services. This is the type of model used by
Pro Mujer (featured in the slide show) and by the Grameen Bank and its offshoots worldwide. Such changes reflect recognition that people need education and support, not just money, to be able to start, sustain and grow businesses, as well as to make sound decisions for themselves and their families. These "combined" models have benefited women in numerous ways

Pursuing microfinance through a lens of transnational feminism challenges the exploitation of women present in the squo system Montes-Ireland (Masters degree in Women Studies & Ethnic Studies) 2011
Heather, Transnational Feminism and the Microfinance (R)evolution: Excavating Microlending from Neoliberalism, http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/xmlui/bitstream/handle/1957/22524/IrelandHeatherMontes2011.pdf?sequ ence=1//NDW) Does this necessitate that microfinance be thrown out completely? I dont believe soin fact, by paying close attention to the errors in the neoliberal microfinance philosophy, I believe it is possible to craft a feminist understanding of microfinance that can exist in direct opposition to capitalist ideals of exploitative profit, wealth disparities, and economic inequities. I will discuss here how I believe 76 microcredit can be adapted to create heterogeneous, noncapitalist economic arrangements that are incongruous to capitalism. This incongruity is a vital facet of an economics of promise that values our human capacities above monetary profits. Can Microfinance be a Political Act? I have undertaken a rhetorical study of microfinance using a feminist antineoliberal, anticapitalist critique as an entry point, to suggest the need to make significant feminist interventions into microfinance and its discourse, so as to excavate microlending from neoliberalism. Next I endeavor to make transnational feminist sense of the microfinance revolution and imagine (r)evolutions of microfinance that may well provide liberatory economic justice strateg ies. Examining the ways women, and particularly women of color, are rendered invisible by capitalist mechanisms and the ways microfinance reveals (the scattered hegemonies of) the micropolitical economy of capitalism. I read up the power structure, as Mohanty suggests, exploring possibilities that microfinance offers as it makes central the potential for enfranchisement of those marginalized by global capitalism. While undoubtedly not the solution to the structural violence of the feminization of poverty worldwide, microfinance has been shown to be positive in certain specific contextsit has been beneficial to enhance some womens lives through improving their short term economic conditions. Desai (2009) points out in her work on women cross-border traders in Africa that some women in southern and western Africa, drawing on their traditional market role in many societies, have benefited from the global openings to engage in and shape global processes at the local and regional levels (14). Therefore, women who have historically engaged in the markets within their respective economies and cultures may very well benefit from monetary resources provided by
microcredit loans. In fact, many women traders indicate that obtaining funds to invest in their trading businesses is a major concern. One woman trader remarks, There is no where to get finance to boost our trade, as financial institutions do not want to sponsor the informal traders (CORN and AFSC 2004). Having no start -up funds for her trading business, another woman discloses, I went to the Womens Finance House (Emang Basadi) to ask for help. I was told to look for four other people to make a group, give it a name, elect office bearers and choose the Chairperson. I did as I was asked to do [] (CORN and AFSC 2004). In the second case,

because the woman was unable to obtain credit on her own, she was at the mercy of the entire group to s ucceed. Her group broke up but, she says, from my small

testimonies demonstrate that many women do require, and desire, credit for their businesses. Some women borrowers of microloans do leverage them to create better opportunities for themselves and their families in light of poverty, economic restructuring, and structural adjustment. Feminist research, though, has just begun to point out adverse consequences that microfinance programs have wrought in
savings, I managed to continue my business (CORN and AFSC 2004). While these many womens lives, especially in relation to globalizing capital and increased NGOization of womens lives (Karim 2010; Fern ando 2008). There remain both problems and possibilities associated with microfinance, and its convoluted 78 interactions compel deeper consideration than a simple debate about whether it is good or bad for women. Though the discursive zeal around microfinance implies otherwise, microcredit is not an entirely recent concept. Indeed, as Nancy Jurik (2005) reminds, microlending can be understood as [an] attempt to restore lending opportunities to individuals in small businesses so that [] small entrepreneurs would be able to borrow money on their word and business ideas. Although such lending programs have been described as revolutionary, it is important to remember that there were times in the past when lending to small businesses was just something that regular banks did (x). Prior to the ascent o f global capital, beginning with modernization theories of the 1950s and most noticeably since free market ideologies gained popularity in the 1980s, lending to small business owners, farmers, and other community members was expected of U.S. banks. The structure of community banks was often individual, face-to-face lending that placed value on bankborrower relationships. These banking processes were racialized and gendered, but had an important impact on the rise of the U.S. middle class. Indeed, though I critique current day microfinance programs, microlending

itself is not inherently problematic. Grameen Banks Susan Davis has

recognized, microcredit is an instrument, its a strategy [] It can be both harmful and benign (Goodman 2006). This is a more nuanced perception of the microfinance revolution, one that d oes not see microfinance as a panacea to poverty, but recognizes however that it is a strategy. I believe this strategy can be used to advance economic justice, if 79 we

are to employ it as a political act, rather than a magic poverty cure-all. Native American economic justice activist Rebecca Adamson offers: The economy used to be about livelihoods [] but weve lost that
purpose. Weve created an economic system with a goal of material wealth []. We need an economy that provides for people. It has to be fundamentally, radically brought back into control and harnessed for the well-being of society (qtd. in Van Gelder 49). How

can we create an economy that provides for people and that puts the control into the hands of the powerless? Jurik and Adamson remind us of the origins of microlending, the power of credit in the hands of everyday people, and everyday peoples ability to create well-being in their lives and communities from the grassroots level up. It is most certainly the neoliberal free market ideology in which microfinance is currently embedded that is detrimental to poor women, not microlending. If we actively take into account the structural forces in which womens lives are entrenched, if we engage a transnational feminist economic justice paradigm, and if we acknowledge the structural violence of neoliberalism and poverty, thenand only thenmay we begin to understand microfinance as providing possibilities to transform the very systems which it currently helps perpetuate. Instead of replacing government services and social safety nets, microfinance should operate alongside a system of strong government protections for the vulnerable, robust social services, wealth (re)distribution, and socialist policies. 80 Microfinance programs employed in tandem with strong welfare policies and social safety nets for marginalized populations, not apart from them, offer the potential of shaping economies that may well operate as if everyone mattered (Berneria 5). Contrary to what Yunus presumes regarding the government sector, welfare and other social programs are not just softening capitalisms hard edges but are commitments to changing our social contracts entirely, and creating a world that doesnt maintain exploitation of women as its primary mechanism to achieve its goals. To think transformatively about microfinance, first we must consider the idea of credit as a human right, which pushes against the dominant ideology of the global, corporatized financial sector that often demonizes the poor and disadvantaged so as to render them invisible to economic structures of lending. I will rethink and (re)imagine microfinance in this chapter as a potentially radically transformational form of investment that values our human capital in an economics of promise. This is one way of many we can begin to move toward a vision of caring, just economies and economic justice. I argue that by enfranchising those who are otherwise marginalized within capitalist economic relations, radically altering dominant investment paradigms, and operating as an instrument for wealth (re)distribution, microfinance provides strategic spheres of anti-capitalist insurgency.

Our discourse shifts employment of microfinance Montes-Ireland (Masters Degree in Women Studies & Ethnic Studies) 2011
Heather, Transnational Feminism and the Microfinance (R)evolution: Excavating Microlending from Neoliberalism, http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/xmlui/bitstream/handle/1957/22524/IrelandHeatherMontes2011.pdf?sequ ence=1//NDW)
When I set out to understand the phenomenon of microfinance, I soon realized there is not an abundance of literature on the topicor rather, there is not much critical literature about

the literature reflects a master narrative that microfinance is the panacea for poverty and that women are
microfinance authored by feminists. Studies and texts proliferate from Muhammad Yunus, the Grameen Bank and other NGOs, and from 10 Western microcredit advocates. Mainly,

targeted mainly because they are important to the community/development. Needless to say, in the dominant microfinance discourse, women are empowered through microfinance programs. Very little could be found on microfinance from the standpoint of feminists or from borrowers themselves. In order to comprehend the microfinance revolution that increasingly gains acceptance as an important aspect of Western-style development, and to produce new feminist understandings of it, I explored the discourse around microfinance to understand the ways it was shaping how microcredit programs are deployed in womens lives by global powers. The discourse approach that I use employs discourse not as simply a linguistic concept but shifts the attention from passages of connected writing or speech, to systems of representation. This is illustrated by Stuart Halls (2001) analysis of the meanings Foucault gave discourse: It is about language and practice. It attempts to overcome the traditional distinction between what one says (language) and what one does (practice). Discourse, Foucault argues, constructs the topic. It defines and produces the objects of our knowledge. It governs the way that a topic can be meaningfully talked about and reasoned about. It also influences how ideas are put into practice and used to regulate the conduct of others (72). Therefore, as Hall (2001) notes, since all practices entail meanings that shape what we do, all practices have a discursive aspect.11 Judith Baxter (2003) reiterates that discourse
can refer to language specifically or to everything that constructs and makes meaning of an object. For the purposes of my research, neoliberalism itself operates as a discursive text that shapes microfinance discourses and practices. I wanted to understand how microfinance operates the way that it does by problematizing how microcredit programs were beloved by both capitalists and social justice advocates alike. How might transnational feminists be able to interpret the microfinance movement?

Poverty must be combatted from a gender perspective non-gender approaches undermine equity and development Women and Development Unit (Unit of the Economic Commision for Latin America and the Caribbean) 2003
Lorena, Understanding poverty from a gender perspective, http://www.eclac.org/publicaciones/xml/0/21550/lcl2063i.pdf//NDW The culture of equality, moreover, is under constant threat in the region. Although Latin America is very heterogeneous, one common trait is that the idea of equality has not taken root. On the contrary, inequality and differences are widely accepted as legitimate. Another hallmark of this cultural climate is a high tolerance to poverty, since it is perceived as a phenomenon that has always existed. These long-term cultural features, together with economic and political changes over the past few decades, represent serious obstacles to the adoption and institutionalization of policies with a gender perspective in the region. Nevertheless, despite these difficulties, the gender approach must be integrated into the design and implementation of policies to combat poverty. Otherwise it will be impossible to accurately conceptualize and measure poverty and from the point of view of policy equity will be undermined, it will not be possible to build on social investment and poverty will be perpetuated. Hence the need to mainstream the gender perspective into the different institutional spheres and to place the problems observed from this perspective at the heart of the agenda. It will thus be possible to build the means to overcome gender inequalities into policies on poverty and to attain economic and social development.


Inherency/Squo Bad

Empower Ext
Microfinance has the ability to help women

DEspallier,(Economic research author) Guerin (PhD in economics from Lyon II University/ Economic Analysis and History of Institutions) and Mersland, (Owner and manager of Mersland and Associates, associate prof at the University of Ager) 3/09 (Bert, Isabelle, and Roy, Empowering Women
through Microfinance, working paper, http://www.microfinancegateway.org/gm/document1.9.40253/Women%20and%20Repayment%20in%20 Microfinance.pdf) As far as supply is concerned, three main arguments are usually put forward by donors or practitioners in favour of targeting women: gender equality, poverty reduction and efficiency (Mayoux 2001).With respect to gender equality, microfinance is considered an effective means to promote the empowerment of women. Drawing on the findings of household economics developed over the last three decades, it is suggested that gender inequalities result in great part from inequalities in bargaining power in the context of decision-making within the household. It is also suggested that womens weaker bargaining power results from their smaller contribution (real or perceived) to household cash flows and to marketbased income generating activities. By enabling women to develop or strengthen income generative activities, microfinance is likely to increase their monetary income, their control over their income and their bargaining power. These effects are then expected to lead to various social, psychological and even political effects which are mutually reinforcing: better self-esteem and self-confidence, improvement in status within the family and the community, better spatial mobility and visibility of women in public spaces, etcetera.

Poverty Alleviation Ext

Continued participation in Micro finance helps to lift women out of poverty Haitt and Woodworth (Asst. prof at Harvard business school AND Prof in the Department of
Organizations Leadership and Strategy in the Marriott School of Management at Brigham Young University) 2006 (Shon and Warner, Alleviating Poverty Through Micro Finance: village banking outcomes in Central America, the Social Science Journal, Volume 43, issue 3, pages 471-477,

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0362331906000498) Empirical studies based on surveys for these three Central American NGOs could reveal promising results for village banking. As a consequence of these reported data, microfinance may have had a positive impact on poverty in the DPCE and DMWE economic criteria. According to economic measurements, Current Clients who have participated in their village bank for more than a year were observed to earn more money daily, and hence, were less poor, than those who had recently joined the microfinance program. It would also appear that those who stay in the microfinance program improve much more than those who leave. A possible interpretation as to why Current Clients are economically better-off than Ex-Clients could be due to investment decisions, as shown in research conducted by Helms (2003) on microentrepreneurial women. His study indicates that in many cases, the purpose of a microentrepreneurial woman's business is not to grow, capitalize, or create employment. Instead, the small business allows the woman to invest her earnings, not in her business, but in other asset-building activities such as children's education, fixing a leaky roof, better nutrition, dealing with emergencies, and the like (ibid). Helms also suggests that the female microentrepreneur may not want her business to grow because she is simply too busy with the 15 other responsibilities she attends to every day to keep the household afloat (ibid). Thus, lower investment in the small business after client graduation, may translate into lower profits and daily income to the microentrepreneur, as profits and accumulated savings are invested in assets other than her business. Although Helms interpretation could shed light on why Guatemalan Current Clients earn more daily than Ex-Clients, more studies are certainly warranted. This article provides observational evidence on the important role that poverty lending can play in international development. By conducting interviews with these Central American NGOs, our study indicates that microfinance clients socioeconomic and economic levels had increased due to their continued participation. Village banking may be viewed as a hand-up instead of a hand-out policy, and as such, it is becoming more popular among developers and donors. Microcredit appears to improve the lives of those who are poor by increasing their buying and investing capability, thus lifting them onto a higher economic plane. Accordingly, these small loans seem to positively affect poverty by creating entrepreneurship and greater self-reliance among the poor.

Girls Education Add-On

Education opens up to women because of microloans
Acebevo (Her Circle Reporter) 1/12 (Lourdes, Following a Year of Protests, Can Micro-Loans to
Women Helf Affect True Change? Her Circle, http://www.hercircleezine.com/2012/01/03/following-ayear-of-protests-can-micro-loans-to-women-help-affect-true-change/)

These loans are dutifully repaid and the money goes to the womens families. Overwhelmingly, women are paying for their childrens education with the proceeds from their businesses. Some are even sending their kids to college. It costs a lot of money, for instance, in Mexico, to buy uniforms, supplies, and bus passes for children to attend school. Typically, whatever money there is goes to send the boys to school and if the money runs out, the girls are not able to attend school. But more money in the hands of mothers means more children, boys AND girls, are able to attend school. I think that the people who will benefit most from microfinance are the children of the borrowers. Our partner in Sonora, Mexico, GRAMEEN DE LA FRONTERA offers scholarships for the daughters of the borrowers to attend school. Through a competitive process, the daughters of borrowers show that they
can achieve the grades needed to excel in school. This will have far-reaching effects.

There are positive effects of MFIs beyond just business to improve the family lives of those who were receiving money Chowdhurdy (prof of economics) 2010 (Anis, Does Micro finance work?, Making it Magazine.org,
http://www.makingitmagazine.net/?p=1711) Even the vocal critics admit that microfinance can help the poor smooth consumption over periods of cyclical downturns or unexpected crises. If this consumption smoothing means parents can send their children to school, or buy essential medications, and maintain nutritional intakes of their children, then microfinance is likely to have positive long-term impacts on productivity. The high interest rates that are charged remain an important concern, and most MFIs have been found lacking in lending to the ultra poor. Nonetheless, it seems that microfinance has significantly dented the informal credit markets by undermining debt-bondage and usury in some agrarian societies. Thus, microfinance is having a modernizing impact. More importantly, by democratizing the credit market, the microfinance movement has also constrained the MFIs own behaviour. For example, when some MFI officials went to collect repayments immediately following the devastating cyclone Sidr in Bangladesh in 2007, this was widely reported in the national newspapers. As a result, the MFIs acted quickly to suspend loan recovery and to offer softer loan conditions.

2AC AT Case Arguments

AT: Traditional Banking Solves Women Empowerment

Traditional banking excludes women

DEspallier,(Economic research author) Guerin (PhD in economics from Lyon II University/ Economic Analysis and History of Institutions) and Mersland, (Owner and manager of Mersland and Associates, associate prof at the University of Ager) 3/09 (Bert, Isabelle, and Roy, Empowering Women
through Microfinance, working paper, http://www.microfinancegateway.org/gm/document1.9.40253/Women%20and%20Repayment%20in%20 Microfinance.pdf) Firstly, demand for microfinance services is probably higher among women for a number of reasons. In many countries, women are more credit constrained than men. They are more restricted in their access to finance and control over land (Agarwal 1994) and capital (Fletschner 2009). Consequently they are considered less creditworthy by traditional banks. Lower education levels, as well as limited time and mobility also prevent them from engaging with the complex and lengthy procedures usually requested by the formal banking sector. Social norms are another factor: restrictions exerted by in-laws (in many countries the financial dependence of women is fully integral to patriarchy) combine with discrimination from bank staff. In some countries women do not even have the legal right to open a bank ccount.

2AC Blocks

AT Neolib K
Empowerment itself isnt a Western concept
Cheston and Kuhn 2[Susy Cheston, Senior Vice President, Policy and Research, Opportunity , International, and Executive Director
Emeritus of the Womens Opportunity Fund. Lisa Kuhn, Program Analyst, Opportunity International Research sponsored by the Womens Opportunity Fund and its funding partners: Elizabeth Foster and Michael Walsh, Gems of Hope USA, and the Morrow Charitable Trust. Publication sponsored by UNIFEM. Empowering Women through Microfinance http://storage.globalcitizen.net/data/topic/knowledge/uploads/201101311419705.pdf 7/8/2]//DLi Yet, even if we set aside culturally relative values for a moment and look objectively at human welfare, we can see that gender inequalities

and discrimination against women contribute directly to the perpetuation of poverty in many nations. Many independent, indigenous womens organizations around the world have contributed to their countries development by leading long and successful struggles for womens empowerment. Organizations like SEWA and Working Womens Forum in India have organized and mobilized hundreds of thousands of Indian women to work for womens empowerment and rights with little or no outside assistance or influence. For example, in areas where
women beedi-rollers poverty29 was exploited by contractors, and often led to p vermanent indebtedness and child mortgage or bondage, WWF successfully organized women to demand higher wages and the release of children from bondage.30 Moreover, in some

cases poor countries have surpassed developed countries in terms of women's representation, existence of women's machineries and ratification of instruments and conventions. This illustrates government awareness of the need to address women's empowerment. Although desired outcomes and goals of empowerment are culturally relative, empowerment itself is not a Western concept.

NGOs will be coopted for neoliberalismempirics NYT 8 [Elizabeth Malkin, Microfinances Success Sets Off a Debate in Mexico 4/5/8, The New York Times,
http://utminers.utep.edu/jtbrannon/articles/mex_microfinance.pdf]//DLi VILLA DE VZQUEZ, Mexico Carlos Danel and Carlos Labarthe

turned a nonprofit that lent money to Mexicos poor into one of the countrys most profitable banks. But not all of their colleagues in the world of microlending so named for the tiny loans it grants are heaping praise on the co-executives of Compartamos. Some are vilifying them as pawnbrokers and money lenders. They are the center of a fractious debate: how far should microfinance go toward becoming big business? At one end stand traditional microlenders, like the economist Muhammad Yunus, founder of the
most famous microlender, the Grameen Bank, and winner of the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize. At the other are the Two Carloses, as they are widely known in this tight-knit world that gave them their start as starry-eyed idealists. Microlenders, the original and still the most common type of microfinance organization, help the poor start or expand businesses in places most banks shun, like the slums of Calcutta or these impoverished hills in Mexicos sugar cane country, three hours south of Mexico City. Their efforts are widely considered successful in

transforming the lives of developing-world entrepreneurs, particularly women, and their families. Many microlending advocates, including Mr. Yunus, say that success is threatened by Mr. Danel and Mr. Labarthes market-oriented model, with its emphasis on investor returns. Microfinance started in the 1970s with a
focus on using this breakthrough to help end poverty, said Sam Daley-Harris, director of the Microcredit Summit Campaign, a nonprofit endeavor that promotes microfinance for families earning less than $1 a day. Now it is in great danger of being how well the

investors and the microfinance institutions are doing and not about ending poverty. He said the situation posed the danger of mission drift. Mr. Danel and Mr. Labarthe say microfinance will help more poor people by tapping the boundless pool of investor capital rather than the limited pool of donor money. Its marvelous to have
one creditor but its marvelous to have one million creditors, Mr. Labarthe said, and thats where we really start to chang e the face of opportunity. Compartamos (lets share in Spanish) expects to reach one million borrowers this year.Its profits are healthy, some

return on equity has been more than 40 percent. Both sides agree that there is a need for capital, too great to be met by the donor groups that initially financed microlending. Deutsche Bank estimates the global demand for microfinance loans at about $250 billion, 10 times the amountthat has been lent. But Compartamoss decision to go public last April became a flashpoint in what had been a genteel debate over how microfinance could tap into the financial markets vast resources. The initial public offering gets special mention at every microfinance conference, and has been condemned by Mr. Yunus,the Nobel laureate. Alex Counts, president of the Washington-based Grameen Foundation, said Compartamoss poor clients were generating the profits but they were excluded from them. Lynne Patterson, a founder of Pro Mujer, a nonprofit microfinance group with branches in several Latin American countries, agrees. We use the profit to reinvest in the service of the clients, she said, referring to loan repayment profits. Since lack of access to credit is just one of the problems the poor face, Pro Mujer also offers services like breast cancer screenings, advice on dealing with domestic violence and financial education. Still, in three decades microfinance has evolved from small nongovernmental organizations lending $50 to women to buy sewing machines or fruit to sell at market to, in some cases, formal banks that cover costs and grow through profits, like any business. On Wall Street, investment banks package microfinance
$80 million last year, and its portfolio has grown to almost $400 million. Since it went public nearly a year ago, loans to sell to institutional investors, many of them socially responsible and looking for s teady returns rather than trading profits. A few equity funds have even taken stakes in microfinance institutions. Critics say that Compartamos manages its business to benefit

its investors, not its borrowers. The bank began as a nongovernmental organization in 1990, started by a Catholic social action group called Gente Nueva, whose inspiration was a visit by Mother Teresa to Mexico. After Compartamos became a for-profit company in 2000, costs fell as efficiencies increased, but the bank keptinterest rates high. On average, customers pay an annual interest rate of almost 90 percent, which includes 15 percent in government tax.In
much of the world, microfinance percent, which includes 15 percent in government tax.In much of the world, microfinance interest rates range from 25 to 45 percent. But in Mexico, high costs, inefficiency and limited competition keep interest rates much

higher. Compartamoss rates are only a few percentage points higher than Pro Mujers, for example. Like microfinance businesses around the
world, Compartamos makes loans without collateral.Its borrowers, who are nearly all women, are organized in groups, which guarantee the loans. Stop paying and your friends must pay for you: the system keeps default rates down. Historically, microlenders point out, such borrowers are excellent risks. For instance, Compartamoss nonperforming loans were just 1.36 percent of its portfolio at the

end of last year. Servicing those loans takes labor and that pushes up rates on such small amounts. A Compartamos collection agent visits each group every week, riding public buses out to villages. Compartamos is more efficient than

other Mexican microfinance institutions and its own borrowing costs are lower, thanks to its strong credit rating. Critics charge that it has not passed those savings on to its customers. The numbers seem to bear that out. A study last year by the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor, known as CGAP, a microfinance industry group based at the World Bank, estimated that 23.6 percent of Compartamoss interest income went to profits. Its return on average equity is more than triple the 15 percent average for Mexican commercial banks. Profit is not a dirty word in the microfinance world. The question is how much is appropriate. CGAP estimates the average return on assets for self-sufficient organizations to be 5.5 percent. The figure for Compartamos was 19.6 percent in the fourth quarter. Mr. Danel said Compartamoss interest rates have fallen 30 percentage points over the last five years. They go down based on efficiencies, and we pass this benefit on to the customer, he said. Compartamos grew to 840,000 customers last year, from 60,000 in 2000. Last April, Compartamos owners sold 30 percent of their stock on the Mexican stock market in an initial public offering. The public offering brought in $458 million. Private Mexican investors, including the banks top executives, pocketed $150 million from the sale. More than half of the public offering proceeds went back to development institutions that had
invested in Compartamos when it moved from being a nonprofit to a commercial venture in 2000. One of them was Accin International, a Boston-based nongovernmental organization that helps build microcredit institutions and provides them with technical assistance. Accin invested $1 million in Compartamos in 2000.It sold half its 18 percent stake at the time of the public offering million in Compartamos in 2000.It sold half its 18 percent stake at the time of the public offering for $135 milli on. This is one strategy to address poverty that

doesnt remain small and beautiful, said Mara Otero, president of Accin. Charles Waterfield, a microfinance consultant who has been among the most vocal critics of Compartamoss model, disagrees. Not only are they making obscene profits off poor people, they are in danger of tarnishing the rest of the industry, he said. Compartamos is the first but they wont be the last. There has not been a rush to market yet.In part, the subprime mortgage debacle and the ensuing
selloff on global markets has made this a poor time for initial public offerings. Compartamos has not escaped the turmoil; its stock price is up nearly 17 percent since the offering, but down 32 percent from its high last July. Those who argue for more such public offerings say that Compartamos set the right example. Boy, you got a lot of peoples attention with thatI.P.O., said Bob Pattillo, who runs Gr ay Ghost, a fund that invests in microfinance. This has got Wall Streets eye, Londons eye, Genevas eye to have one out there to say that if all the dots got connected this can be quite profitable. Mr. Danel and Mr. Labarthe argue that successful microlenders in a middle -income country like Mexico should use the capital markets, instead of crowding out donations. As part of their defense, they argue that Compartamoss success has

prompted a number of institutions, including traditional banks and retailers, to start offering financial products to the poor. We
dont only see ourselves as a specialist in microfinance but also as the builder of an industry, Mr. Danel said. Compartamos estimates that its target market is 14 million households, more than half of the countrys population, most of them with little or no access to banking services. At the recent weekly meeting of a group of Compartamos borrowers in the village of Valle de Vzquez, the interest rate was not a great concern.Indeed, several women said they had left another microfinance institution because it charged more. The group was well established, 35 strong and well into its third year of borrowing. The meeting, which took place in the living room of one borrowers home, wa s the start of a new four-month borrowing cycle. A Compartamos manager, Claudia Ayala, began with a pep talk, pointing to a house plant set on a chair beside her. This plant grows and this group can grow, she said to the women, who wereMicrofinances Success Sets Off a Debate in Mexico - New York Times 4/16/08 2:03 PM http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/05/business/worldbusiness/05micro.finance%20and%20mexico&st=nyt&oref=slogin&scp=2&pagewanted= print Page 5 of 5 chair beside her. This plant grows and this group can grow, she said to the women, who were listless in t he afternoon heat. How? By inviting more compaeras, or friends. By fertilizing it with responsibility, she said. Though the village depends largely on remittances sent by relatives in the United States, the Compartamos loans have helped some women become self-

sufficient. Silvina Martnez started a little restaurant in her house a year ago to sell her homemade snacks to students at a nearby high school.It has grown steadily since then. With this cycle, she was going to borrow about $1,100 to paintthe restaurant and expand her menu. Its my own business, she said. You are a slave to it, but at least its mine. Other women were successful entrepreneurs to start with, but the Compartamos credit gives them a push, allowing them to hire an employee or help ease their cash flow. Alejandra Abndez, 57, keeps pigs and cattle, and produces 330 pounds of cheese a day, which she sells in the local market. She and her daughter, Micaela Rivera, were borrowing $3,550 from Compartamos to buy animal feed and to stock the tiny store in her front entryway. Everything I have,I invest, said Ms. Abndez, who was left a widow with five
children at 35. No gadding about for me.

AT Agent CPs

AT T-Economic Engagement

Microfinance Revolution Neg

Strat Sheet
-Agent CPs

Property Rights CP?

Even doing something as simple as helping women own property can help them find strength in the economy-Africa is an example of this
Hallward-Driemeier and Tazeen(Mary Hallward-Driemeier and Tazeen Hansen, https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/bitstream/handle/10986/11960/730710PUB0EPI001200pub0date0 1004012.pdf?sequence=1) How Do Property Rights Affect Economic Opportunities? An extensive literature shows the importance of property rights for growth, investment, and government effectiveness. Aggregate cross-country data show a positive association between the quality of institutions or property rights and growth, though the exact causal mechanism can be hard to establish. Many recent studies are microeconomic analyses, generally within a single country that has changed legal rights or that grants different rights to different groups. Examples of such changes are described below. Strong Land Rights Can Promote Investment Empirical work suggests that when women control a larger share of resources, agricultural productivity rises (Saito, Mekonnen, and Spurling 1994; Udry and others 1995; Quisumbing 1996; Besley and Ghatak 2009) and poverty falls (World Bank 2001). Insecure property rights to land have multiple ramifi cations for agriculture and how rural economic activity is organized. The risk that land will be expropriated deters investment. Insecure property rights also reduce borrowers ability to pledge land as collateral, tightening credit constraints. Ill-defi ned property rights to land can inhibit land transactions rentals or salespreventing potential gains from trade (Aryeetey and Udry 2010). Goldstein and Udry (2008) examine the effect of contested land rights on investment and productivity in agriculture in Akwapim, Ghana. They show that individuals who hold powerful positions in a local political hierarchy have more secure tenure rightsand therefore invest more in land fertility, leading to much higher output. The intensity of investments on different plots cultivated by a given individual corresponds to the individuals security of tenure over the plots. Besley (1995) shows that individuals in
Ghana vary their investment across plots depending on the security of their rightsand that property rights need to be understood as embedded in a broader social context. Some evaluations have shown an increase in agricultural productivity and a (weak) increase in access to credit where formal titling programs are in place (see, for example, Pande and Udry 2005). The weak increase in access to credit has been attributed to two factors. First, creditors often have only weak rights to foreclose on land (Field and Torero 2008). Second, collateral is not the only constraint to accessing fi nance: a profi table idea and the ability to work in a reasonably hospitable investment climate are also needed (Besley and Ghatak 2009). One of the challenges for women is that titling has too often been done under a single name, the male head of household. As a result, in some countries, such as

More shtuff
Domestic violence
Cheston and Kuhn 2[Susy Cheston, Senior Vice President, Policy and Research, Opportunity , International, and Executive Director
Emeritus of the Womens Opportunity Fund. Lisa Kuhn, Program Analyst, Opportunity International Research sponsored by the Womens Opportunity Fund and its funding partners: Elizabeth Foster and Michael Walsh, Gems of Hope USA, and the Morrow Charitable Trust. Publication sponsored by UNIFEM. Empowering Women through Microfinance http://storage.globalcitizen.net/data/topic/knowledge/uploads/201101311419705.pdf 7/8/2]//DLi Impact on Family Relationships and Domestic Violence Although there have been a few studies44 that have asserted that womens participation in microfinance leads to an increase in domestic violence, most practitioners have reported the opposite experience. The concerns arise over a backlash effect that may occur as a result of women challenging gender norms and asserting their rights. Microfinance programs can strengthen

womens economic autonomy and give them the means to pursue nontraditional activities. In some cases, women who begin to assert themselves 42 Kabeer, Conditions and
Consequences, 20. 43 From surveys conducted by ADAPTE loan officers in OctoberDecember 2001 on behalf of the authors. 44 See, for example, Anne Marie Goetz and Rina Sen Gupta, Who Takes the Credit? Gender, Power, and Con trol over Loan Use in Rural Credit Programs in Bangladesh, World Development 24, no. 1 (1996): 45 63.341 and their opinions in their households incur the wrath of angry husbands who feel their authority and sometimes their reputations are being threatened by their wives behavior. Although there are many good reasons for MFIs to be watchful for potential rises in domestic violence, the bulk of the evidence and experience thus far seems to point

to the conclusion that participation in microfinance strengthens and improves family relationships rather than destroying them. Poverty, scarcity, and feelings of helplessness take an undeniable toll on personal relationships. Many practitioners have found that family relationships can be strengthened when the home becomes a more comfortable place to be, and when each member of the family feels secure in his or her ability to contribute productively to the family. Women at Sinapi Aba Trust in Ghana, for example, clearly attributed the increase in respect from their husband and the reduction in arguments to their economic contribution and a reduction in scarcity. Naila Kabeers study of SEDP shows women making a direct causal link between their contribution to the household and a reduction in abuse. For example, one client of SEDP quoted by Kabeer states: He gives me more value since the loan. I know, because now he hands all his earnings to me. If I had not gone to the meeting, not taken a loan, not learnt the work, I would not get the value I have, I would have to continue to ask my husband for every taka I needed. . . . Before, my husband used to beat me when I asked him for money, now, even if he doesnt earn enough every day, I can work, we dont have to suffer.45 Balbina, a client of ASPIRE, Opportunitys partner in the
Dominican Republic, described the frustration that she and her husband felt about their poverty and their inability to work productively to change their situation. That changed when she used her first loan to invest in a business making and selling chicharrones (pork rind snacks) together with her husband. She talked about the difference within their home as a result of having productive work and greater assets: We were fighting tooth and nail because my husband was unemployed and we had nothing to do. Now we work together, and each of us has something productive to do and a way to direct our energies.46 Hashemi et al. found fewer incidences of violence against women among women

who were members of credit organizations than they found among the general population. Although fear of
public exposure clearly played a role in the reduction of violence, there is considerable anecdotal evidence of women attributing the reduction of abuse directly to their access to credit and their economic contribution to the household. Another study by Schuler et al. suggests that the level of womens economic contribution to the family may also be significant.47 45 Kabeer, Money Cant Buy Me Love? 44. 46 Personal interview. 47 S. M. Hashemi, R. R. Schuler, and A. P. Riley, Rural Credit Programs and Womens Empowerment in Bangladesh, World Development 24, no. 4 (1996): 63553; S. R. Schuler, S. M. Hashemi, A. P. Riley, and A. Akhter, Credit Programs, Patriarchy and Mens Violence against Women in Rural Bangladesh, Social Science and Medicine 43, no. 12 (1996): 1729-42. 342 Evidence suggests that participation in

microfinance programs may give women the means to escape from abusive relationships or limit abuse in their relationships. Working Womens Forum found that 40.9 percent of its members who had experienced domestic violence stopped it because of their personal empowerment, while 28.7 percent were able to stop it through group action.48 CSD in Nepal also noticed a greater resistance to wife beatings and alcoholism among its clients.49 And in Bangladesh, where social pressure to remain married is high, Kabeer found that several women in abusive relationships were able to establish spheres of autonomy for themselves within their marriage so that they would have to depend on their husbands as little as possible.50 There is anecdotal evidence of reducing domestic violence against children as well. For example,
Sabina Cutiba, a client of ADEMCOL, Opportunitys partner in Bogot, Colombia, had experienced a lifetime of abusiv e relationships but learned a new way to interact with her children as a result of her Trust Bank program. I used to fight, complain a lot, be n egative. I would complain to friends of mine and cry out with my frustrations. . . . This lady who has been giving these conferences and talking with me has really strengthened me. Ive had a total change. . . . Before I used to beat my children. I hit them a lot. But not anymorenow Im a different person.

In spite of fears by some that giving loans to women could disrupt social order and destroy families,51 there is little evidence of this occurring. In her study of both male and female clients of SEDP, Naila Kabeer found that women were much more likely to seek the

strengthening of their relative position within an interdependent relationship with their husbands than they were to seek independence and autonomy.52

Empowerment solvency
Cheston and Kuhn 2[Susy Cheston, Senior Vice President, Policy and Research, Opportunity , International, and Executive Director
Emeritus of the Womens Opportunity Fund. Lisa Kuhn, Program Analyst, Opportunity International Research sponsored by the Womens Opportunity Fund and its funding partners: Elizabeth Foster and Michael Walsh, Gems of Hope USA, and the Morrow Charitable Trust. Publication sponsored by UNIFEM. Empowering Women through Microfinance http://storage.globalcitizen.net/data/topic/knowledge/uploads/201101311419705.pdf 7/8/2]//DLi Impact on Womens Involvement and Status in the Community Several microfinance and micr oenterprise support programs have observed

improvements in womens status in their communities. Contributing financial resources to the family or community confers greater legitimacy and value to womens views and gives them more entitlements than they would otherwise have. Studies of microfinance clients from various institutions around the world show that the women themselves very often perceive that they receive more respect from their families and their communities particularly from the male membersthan they did before joining a microfinance program. Where women have the freedom to move about publicly, their success in business is often highly visible in the community. Their success can pave the way for them to become respected and valued
members of society. For example, in Zanzibar, 48 Working Womens Forum, 22. 49 Shrestha, 30. 50 Kabeer, Money Cant Buy Me Love? 43 54. 51 In the early days when Opportunity International was developing targeted loan products for women, a few local leaders expressed concern about the potential disruption of the family as a result. The most extreme comments included Giving loans to women will destroy families and Providing loans to women goes against Gods natural plan for the universe. 52 Kabeer, Money Cant Buy Me Love? 6667. 3523 Tanzania, women from one of WEDTFs credit groups enjoyed considerable prestige and empowerment as a result of their successful joint b usiness selling kerosene: Before the credit support we never even went to the market. We were solely dependent on our husbands. Now group activities

and the intensive training from the scheme have opened our eyes. We now know that we are better in business than men. We were the only women selling kerosene in the village. The whole community admired our
determination. We have urged our fellow women to put their veils down. Some have started their own income generating activities.Halima Juma Hamadi 53 Most studies have been based on womens perceptions of how others treat and perceive them, so it is possib le that their responses were affected by their own increasing self-esteem and self-confidence as much as by actual changes in the way they were perceived in the community. Some women, however, do cite specific examples of how their interactions in the community have changed and how the improvement in their status is manifested. One woman in Ghana commented that men no longer spoke to her

disrespectfully but spoke to her rather more as an equal. Other women noted that they have been invited to participate in and speak at community meetings, whereas before they would have been ignored or excluded. Similarly, a study done by Freedom From Hunger on its program in Ghana noted that significantly more participants than nonparticipants were giving advice in their communitiesparticularly on topics they had studied in their credit groups. Eighty-seven percent of Credit With Education clients had given business advice in the last six months at the time of the study, compared with 35 percent of nonparticipants and 50 percent of members of control communities. The Freedom From Hunger study also showed that substantially fewer (44 percent) of these women had given business advice in the six months before joining the program three years earlier.54 In the CSD program, women members own their center houses that provide them with a social space for gatherings. These houses are a symbol of their unity, strength, and positive contribution to the community and are a source of pride for the women.55 In CSD
communities, the perception of womens economic role is slowly changing. Women are gaining respect for their work, which has traditionally been undervalued. Womens increased economic role is improving their position in society by allowing them

to prove their economic capabilities. The awareness of the importance of their economic roles has given some women the
confidence to detach themselves from the conservative practices of purdah that used to confine their activities to their homes. As we have shown in this section, women are gaining respect. CSD, however, found no noticeable change in traditional gender relations and socially prescribed roles and normsparticularly at the level of the household. Womens mobility has increased, but 53 Womens Entrepreneurship Development Trust Fund (WEDTF), information on microfinance and empowerment of women, Zanzibar, Tanzania, 52. 54 Barbara MkNelly and Mona McCord, Credit With Education Impact Review No. 1: Womens Empowerment. (Freedom From Hunger, 2001), 9 -10. 55 Shrestha, 18. 4 only as related to income-generating activities. Although CSDs centers have succeeded in creating a space for women to gain experience in making decisions and acting upon them, a social stigma is still attached to womens mobility that has not changed

significantly since CSD began its operations.56 CSD concluded that these limitations were due in part to the programs central
focus on creating income-generating opportunities for women who had never had them before and that womens empowerment takes much more than access options. The program needs to consider some strategic or structural changes and incorporate gender mainstreaming actions in order to inch toward the overall empowerment of women.57 Many programs, however, do encourage women from village banks, self-help groups, lending centers, and Trust Banks to

organize to bring about social change or solve community problems as a group. Trust Bank members from Opportunitys partner AGAPE in Barranquilla, Colombia, organized to bring electricity

to their community. Trust

Banks from ADEMCOL, Opportunitys partner in Bogot, often organize health fairs for their families and communities, bringing the services of doctors, dentists, and psychologists within easy access of poor communities that lack their own health services. They also organize day care and community social events. Organizing such events has proven to be an important learning experience in and of itself because for many women it is their first contact with local authorities. In order to gain permission and support to hold the events, women must learn to navigate through the bureaucracies that affect their daily lives.

Microfinance Bad DA?

Welfare CP
Welfare is effective and reaches more people Latin American Bureau 12 (7/16/12; An Overview of Microfinance in Latin America;
http://lab.org.uk/an-overview-of-microfinance-in-latin-america//NDW) The fact that the poor have turned out to confound prejudice and been extremely good at managing and making money, given minimal opportunities, is paradoxically a reminder that many are too poor to be helped by small loans. In 95% of cases, repayments are met, showing those receiving these loans are very capable of managing risk considering their limited resources. While microfinance can help those who can absorb credit into an existing activity, this still leaves many people too poor to help themselves. For them, social policy experts are calling for a simple recipe: just give money to the poor. The effects of cash transfers, as they are called, have been similar to microfinance across the region. Recipients have invested the cash in welfare and education to rise above the poverty line. These programmes are a reminder that there is still a role for the state in distribution and welfare, before market solutions such as microfinance can be workable.

AT Solvency
Economic opportunities without property rights fail property rights are key to solving gender inequality
Hallward-Driemeier and Tazeen(Mary Hallward-Driemeier and Tazeen Hansen, https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/bitstream/handle/10986/11960/730710PUB0EPI001200pub0date0 1004012.pdf?sequence=1) Expanding opportunities for women has intrinsic value. It is also instrumental in fostering development. Realizing the potential of all people is needed to ensure growth, productivity, and a vibrant society. Empowering Women: Legal Rights and Economic Opportunities in Africa brings new data and analysis to recommend how best to move this agenda forward. Strengthening the incentives and abilities to pursue opportunities expands womens economic empowerment. Property rights are central in this process because they ensure that people can reap the benefi ts of their eff orts. Policy makers shape property rights through laws and regulations, and the legal system supports their enforcement. Yet despite their importance, before the publication of this volume, no study had looked systematically across Sub-Saharan Africa to examine the impacts on womens economic empowerment. Assessments of laws and regulations governing the business environment rarely examine whether they have diff erent impacts on women and men. Th ey fail to do so partly because they look at issues such as how to register property or enforce contracts, presuming that everyone can own property or enter into a contract. A major contribution of this book is to demonstrate that in many Sub-Saharan countries, economic rights for women and men are not equal. Areas of family law, inheritance law, and land law are not generally included in studies of business regulations. But it is precisely these areas of law that defi ne legal capacity and the ability to own and control assetsand it is in these areas that explicit gender gaps are most likely. To document the gender gaps in formal economic rights, the book draws on the Womens Legal and Economic Empowerment Database for Africa (WomenLEEDAfrica). Covering all 47 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, this new database provides detailed indicators and links to statutes, constitutions, and international conventions on issues of legal capacity, marital property, land ownership, and labor law. Th e books recommendations focus not only on specifi c substantive changes to the law but also on ensuring that rights are enforced and the system of justice is made more accessible. Th e recommendations also Foreword xvii

No solvency no macrofinance, bad usage, and high interest rates Momaya 9 (Masum, Curator of International Museum for Women, Honors Bachelors degree in Public Policy and Feminist
Studies from Stanford University, master's in Education and a doctorate in Human Development and Psychology from Harvard University, on the board of the Third Wave Foundation; 10/14/2009; More than Microfinance; http://www.imow.org/economica/stories/viewStory?storyid=3660//NDW)
In economics, people frequently use terms such as "micro" or "macro." Nowadays, "micro" is generally associated with microcredit or microfinance, two terms that have become synonymous with the popular practice of giving small loans to people--most often women--to start small businesses and make money for themselves and their families. "Macro" sometimes hints at large sums of money, but it can also mean the high-level structural reform of institutions that have deep impacts on the economy, such as banks and governments . A look at

microfinance's successes and shortcomings in helping women and their families get out of poverty shows that macro-level structural reforms--not just more microfinance--are needed to help overcome poverty.
Does microfinance actually alleviate poverty? On one hand, it gives people who are disenfranchised a chance to earn money and participate financially in society. It offers steady employment and helps individuals establish the verifiable credit histories necessary to secure savings accounts, credit and loans. Microfinance can succeed in generating income for whole families and communities, and sometimes helps local, indigenous industries bloom in places where there is little other economic development. On the other hand, there are a number of

challenges and negative repercussions to microcredit, some of them unforeseen. Because of extreme poverty, many borrowers take out loans for household expenses rather than for their businesses(1). In some cases, women even take out loans to pay for their daughters dowries; dowry prices can go up when it becomes known that women have access to microcredit(2). Moreover, some microfinance institutions charge exorbitantly high interest rates,

causing borrowers to become trapped in cycles of debt. When women dont have enough income to make payments, they may borrow from within their social network, sell household goods, reduce food consumption and seek out additional work(3). These behaviors are unsustainable, and show that access to credit doesnt guarantee an end to poverty. Financial inclusion doesnt necessarily translate into economic independence or empowerment, especially when the burden of poverty alleviation remains on poor women themselves and discriminatory cultural practices further disadvantage women.

Microfinance reinforces gender discrimination Momaya 9 (Masum, Curator of International Museum for Women, Honors Bachelors degree in Public Policy and Feminist
Studies from Stanford University, master's in Education and a doctorate in Human Development and Psychology from Harvard University, on the board of the Third Wave Foundation; 10/14/2009; More than Microfinance; http://www.imow.org/economica/stories/viewStory?storyid=3660//NDW)
Research shows that women repay their loans in higher rates than men and that while men often spend loan money on themselves, women are more likely to use their loans to improve their businesses(4). Women also tend to spend their income on healthcare, education, their families and their children--all spending priorities that help alleviate poverty(5). As a result, women have become the top targets of

microfinance institutions (MFIs). However, this attention has proved a mixed blessing. Unscrupulous lenders may exploit womens "dependability" by charging very high interest rates and encouraging them to take out larger loans than necessary to finance their businesses. Moreover, because of their better access to credit, some women are expected to earn a living while still assuming traditional caretaking duties --and while still being excluded from major household decisions. Without accompanying changes in social beliefs and attitudes, access to economic opportunities doesnt guarantee that womens situations will improve.

Microfinance isnt enough, its just one dimension of a complex system

Cheston and Kuhn 2[Susy Cheston, Senior Vice President, Policy and Research, Opportunity , International, and Executive Director
Emeritus of the Womens Opportunity Fund. Lisa Kuhn, Program Analyst, Opportunity International Research sponsored by the Womens Opportunity Fund and its funding partners: Elizabeth Foster and Michael Walsh, Gems of Hope USA, and the Morrow Charitable Trust. Publication sponsored by UNIFEM. Empowering Women through Microfinance http://storage.globalcitizen.net/data/topic/knowledge/uploads/201101311419705.pdf 7/8/2]//DLi Given the enthusiasm that many donors and practitioners have shown for the empowering potential of microfinance, why are many MFIs reluctant to focus on womens empowerment when designing their systems and programs? Their rationales range from t he belief that empowerment will happen naturally as a result of a good microfinance program to the concern that paying attention to empowerment will distract MFIs and their managers from running their institutions sustainably. In this section we explore a few of these concerns. Does Access to Credit Automatically Leads to Empowerment? The basic theory is that microfinance empowers women by putting capital in

their hands and allowing them to earn an independent income and contribute financially to their households and
communities. This economic empowerment is expected to generate increased self-esteem, respect, and other forms of empowerment for women beneficiaries. Involvement in successful income-generating activities should translate into greater control and empowerment. Closer

examination shows us, however, that this equation may not always hold true and that complacency in these assumptions can lead MFIs to overlook both opportunities to empower women more profoundly and failures in empowerment. The ability of a woman to transform her life through access to financial services depends on many factorssome of them linked to her individual situation and abilities, and others dependent upon her environment and the status of women as a group. Control of capital is only one dimension of the complex and ever-changing process by which the cycles of poverty and powerlessness replicate themselves. Women also face disadvantages in accessing information, social networks, and other resources they need to succeed in business and in life. Only by evaluating the needs of women will an MFI be able to maximize its empowerment potential.

Microfinance fails privatization, corruption, and exclusion Momaya 9 (Masum, Curator of International Museum for Women, Honors Bachelors degree in Public Policy and Feminist
Studies from Stanford University, master's in Education and a doctorate in Human Development and Psychology from Harvard University, on the board of the Third Wave Foundation; 10/14/2009; More than Microfinance; http://www.imow.org/economica/stories/viewStory?storyid=3660//NDW)
Political science researcher Matthew Ruben points out that "the

popularity of microfinance has the potential to distract from other vital antipoverty measures. It is easy for donors and governments to create and fund credit programs and ignore other, potentially more serious problems faced by the rural poor. Microfinance by itself does

not solve the need for medical services, infrastructure, education and land reform"(6). These are needs that poor women and families cannot be expected to fulfill for themselves; rather, they need resources from governments, the private sector and civil society organizations. In many countries, however, governments, banks and the private sector are either failing to step forward, highly corrupt or offering "solutions" that only serve to entrench poverty rather than dismantle it. For example, the privatization of social welfare programs in most countries means that MFIs are often expected to provide necessary services for the poor--services that were once the responsibility of governments. This is not problematic in and of itself, but there is little incentive for private groups to actually do so, and privatized services may place profit over access and affordability. Even in cases where governments are ready to step in and, for example, build and maintain schools, roads, utility services, job training programs, health clinics and the like, their own financial vulnerability often compromises their ability to make significant, long-term investments. Poorer countries usually borrow money for structural improvements at very high interest rates and under very constraining conditions from other governments, as well as from international financial institutions like the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. This increases governments debt and ultimately handicaps their efforts, since many of the resources go to loan negotiation and repayments rather than building infrastructure or providing services. Moreover, due to rampant corruption within many governments, much of the money from these loans is pocketed well before it makes it into the hands of those who need it most. The loans also come with multiple restrictions about who gets money and for what, most often leaving women out. Community-based activists, including women, are routinely excluded from high-level discussions between finance ministers and loan officers; plans for use of the money are frequently top-down, unrealistic and ineffective. Even efforts that begin with the best intentions can go sour, and resources are then lost. Many experts also fear we are becoming overly reliant on microfinance as the primary vehicle for global poverty alleviation. Scholars like Heloise Weber at the University of Aberdeen, for example, have argued that the dominance of microfinance as a strategy could pave the way for banks to take over the roles of governments--and make huge profits in the process. This has
major implications for future access to microfinance and the affordability of repayments.

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Neoliberalism Link
Aff is inherently neoliberaleconomic incentives Cheston and Kuhn 2 [Susy Cheston, Senior Vice President, Policy and Research, Opportunity International, and Executive Director
Emeritus of the Womens Opportunity Fund. Lisa Kuhn, Program Analyst, Opportunity International Research. Sponsored by the Womens Opportunity Fund and its funding partners: Elizabeth Foster and Michael Walsh, Gems of Hope USA, and the Morrow Charitable Trust Publication. Sponsored by UNIFEM. Empowering Women through Microfinance March 2002, http://storage.globalcitizen.net/data/topic/knowledge/uploads/201101311419705.pdf]//DLi Why Target Women? Theories, Assumptions, and Reality Many different rationales can be offered for placing a priority on increasing womens access to microfinance services. Gender and Development Research

done by UNDP, UNIFEM, and the World Bank, among others, indicates that gender inequalities in developing societies inhibit economic growth and development. For example, a recent World Bank report confirms that societies that discriminate on the basis of gender pay the cost of greater poverty, slower economic growth, weaker governance, and a lower living standard of their people.6 The UNDP found a very strong correlation between its gender empowerment measure and gender-related development indices and its Human Development Index. Overall, evidence is mounting that improved gender equality is a critical component of any development strategy. Microfinance has come to
play a major role in many of these donors gender and development strategies because of its direct relationship to both po verty alleviation and women. As CIDA recognizes in its gender policy, Attention to gender equality is essential to sound development practice and at the heart of economic and social progress. Development results cannot be maximized and sustained without explicit attention

to the different needs and interests of women and men.7 As part of its poverty reduction priority, CIDA supports programs
that provide increased access to productive assets (especially land, capital, and credit), processing, and marketing for women.8 By giving women access to working capital and training, microfinance helps mobilize womens productive capacity to alleviate

poverty and maximize economic output. In this case, womens entitlement to financial services, development aid, and equal rights rests primarily on their potential contribution to society rather than on their intrinsic rights as human beings and members of that society.9

Plan imposes Western valuesempowerment is closely linked to culture

Cheston and Kuhn 2[Susy Cheston, Senior Vice President, Policy and Research, Opportunity , International, and Executive Director
Emeritus of the Womens Opportunity Fund. Lisa Kuhn, Program Analyst, Opportunity International Research sponsored by the Womens Opportunity Fund and its funding partners: Elizabeth Foster and Michael Walsh, Gems of Hope USA, and the Morrow Charitable Trust. Publication sponsored by UNIFEM. Empowering Women through Microfinance http://storage.globalcitizen.net/data/topic/knowledge/uploads/201101311419705.pdf 7/8/2]//DLi Womens Empowerment Is a Western Concept The question has been raised, not only in microfinance but also in the broader fie ld of international development, whether it is ethical and appropriate for development institutions to promote womens

empowerment. The empowerment or disempowerment of women and other groups in each society is closely linked to the culture of that society. The promotion of womens empowerment implies advocacy for cultural and social change, which some fear is an inappropriate imposition of Western values on nonWestern societies.

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US economic engagement towards Mexico is modern colonialism that results in the sexualization and exploitation of Mexican women on the border Wood (Degree in American and Canadian Studies) 2008
Olivia, An Investigation into Exploitation of the Mexican Female Body along the U.S.-Mexico Border, http://www.womenontheborder.org/documents/OliviaWooddissertation.pdf//NDW The primary purpose of this thesis is to investigate various ways in which the Mexican female body has become a site of exploitation in the U.S.-Mexico border region. My particular interest is in the physical manifestations of exploitation, such as rape, sexual harassment, and even murder, as I propose that Mexican women have become sexualized and racialized objects at the mercy of powerful men. Beneath this physical abuse lies an institutionally-embedded and historically-rooted transnational economic system, which adds a further dimension to womens oppression and provides the key to understanding the premise behind such gendered and racialized exploitation. The economic system to which I refer is global capitalism. This thesis will show that it is not only this type of economy which is to blame for the economic and physical injustices that Mexican women face, but also the historical relationship between the United States and Mexico, which created and maintains an unequal colonial relationship between these First World and Third World nations. My central argument is that Mexican women have become the prime, and all too often ignored, victims of U.S. imperial domination: their abused bodies symbolically represent the U.S.s continuing economic and political abuses of power against Mexico. There are countless examples of U.S. imperial domination over Mexican peoples, dating at least to their 1848 conquest and
annexation of Mexican territory, creating what is now the U.S. Southwest. Against an enormous background of exploitation, over history and across both countries, I have chosen to focus on the exploitation of women, primarily over the last thirty years, and in the border specifically. There are a number of ways in which Mexican women are exploited at that interface, in border cities and

whilst crossing the border itself. I shall concentrate on three specific sites of exploitation: maquiladoras (U.S.owned manufacturing plants in Mexican border cities), where women are economically abused and sexually-objectified by U.S. corporate power; Ciudad Jurez (bordering El Paso, Texas), where women have been mysteriously disappearing since 1993, their mutilated, raped, and murdered bodies often found discarded in the desert; and border crossing-points, where Mexican women are frequently raped by U.S. personnel. This approach
facilitates an in-depth examination of the systems of exploitation at the border, and, using personal testimony, I shall offer insight into wom ens first-hand experiences of injustice, violence, and oppression.