Department of Philosophy
Rollins College
Winter Park, Florida

Exploring Empowerment: Microfinance and Women’s Agency

This paper explores the impact of microfinance and cooperatives on women’s agency and empowerment. The working hypothesis is that is not solely economic access, but also organizational structure that affect women’s levels of empowerment. The empirical study compares three cooperatives with three microfinance organizations in West Bengal, India. Based on this empirical data as well as theoretical research, I conclude that women’s agency and empowerment are linked to organizational structure.

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