This important new book analyzes, through field research, the most relevant microcredit programs in existence in Eritrea. This African country recently completed a thirty-year war of liberation and lives today through an extraordinary period of construction of its own national identity. Committed to promoting and supporting microcredit initiatives, it seeks an active participation by women in the process of reconstruction and remains a country firmly committed to its own history and culture. Eritrea therefore constitutes an excellent case for observing and analyzing microcredit programs on a large scale, carried out in a very geographically varied land, with a high number of participants and a diverse population, in a postwar situation. Today, as the concept of development has come under criticism, two issues have become central to discussions of how to change conditions of life in the poorest countries: gender and microcredit. This book, based on extensive field research and interviews with both women participants in microcredit programs and with experts from the same programs and from international agencies and NGOs, is an important new contribution to the study and practice of ameliorating conditions for Third World women. With an eye to the issue of female empowerment, the authors shed light on the great difficulties encountered in conducting microcredit programs in a social environment governed by ancient norms and traditions. They identify the strategies carried out by the various subjects involved, field agents and clients to further develop the possibilities of such programs. Rather than the point of view of World Bank or NGO experts, the authors valorize the point of view of the women participants, and in the words of the women themselves, they find suggestions for social change oriented toward the needs of the poorest people. With extensive discussion of the varying theoretical approaches to microcredit, and with an extensive bibliography, the book is ideal for classroom discussion as well as for practitioners of microcredit projects.
Paperback: 246 pages
Publisher: The Red Sea Press, Inc.; 1st edition (September 10, 2007)
Product Dimensions: 0.7 x 5.9 x 8.5 inches
Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces