Gender and rural microfinance: Reaching and empowering women - Guide for Practitioners
IFAD, August 2009
This publication focuses on gender sensitive rural microfinance, defined as “all financial services targeting poor and low-income rural households and individuals, with a focus on rural women’s needs.” It describes how financial institutions should take into account the needs of women as well as men clients when designing products. It provides practical suggestions for designing financial products, such as credit, savings, insurance and remittances to promote gender equality and empowerment. It puts emphasis on demand-driven product development, such as market research and financial literacy and the need to see how group structures can be developed as the basis for change. The guide also includes several checklists for gender audits in organizations, product and programme design and enhanced gender impacts.