Effects of Micro-Credit Programmes on Women’s Health: A Critical Review of Impact Studies with Special Reference to Grameen Bank in Bangladesh

Dokumentart: Diplomarbeit, Magisterarbeit, Master Thesis
Institut: Department Gesundheitswissenschaften
Sprache: Englisch
Erstellungsjahr: 2008
SWD-Schlagwörter: Bangladesch , Gesundheit , Grameen Bank
Freie Schlagwörter (Englisch): Women’s health, Micro-credit programmes, Grameen Bank, Bangladesh
DDC-Sachgruppe: Medizin, Gesundheit

Kurzfassung auf Englisch:

Poor socio-economic conditions are responsible for health hazards and disease to a large extent. They leave the poor and the disadvantaged people almost unprotected against the various risk factors causing ill health. Considering the causal relationship between poor socio-economic status and health one can state that interventions for poverty alleviation generally have positive impact on the state of health of the recipients. This also applies for group-based credit programmes giving small credit to women in the rural areas to initiate income-generating activities. In rural Bangladesh, Grameen Bank has been operating in this direction since the seventies of the last century by establishing micro-credit programmes which are primarily targeted at poor women who constitute about 95% of their clientele. Due to this unique constellation, a number of researchers have tried to analyse the effects of micro-credit on the health status of female recipients of Grameen Bank. The present study attempts to review these published data and the evidence presented in support of the postulated micro-credit benefits on the health of poor women critically. Applying explanatory research methods, this study evaluates selected publications from the Grameen Bank, the OECD, WHO and other supplementary sources. The main outcome of the analysis indicates that the majority of these studies have not - or only to a minor degree - designed their research and interpreted their findings within the framework of the holistic, now generally accepted approach of health as defined by WHO. They have rather focused on sub-sectors like nutrition, contraception and reproductive health, sanitation and safe drinking water. Several centrally important aspects have been widely neglected, such as food allocation during lean seasons, workrelated health risks, environmental risks and unsafe sex. Yet another problem inherent in almost all studies undertaken so far is that the applied indicators for health and health risks have been defined by the researchers rather than by the women concerned.

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