Q. Can the vicious cycle of gender inequality, poverty and malnutrition be broken through microfinancing of women SHGs? Explain with examples. (250 Words)14 Jun, 2022 GS Paper 2 Social Justice
The Global Gender Gap Report 2021 ranks India at 140 among 156 countries. This gender inequality is the outcome of unequal opportunity, education, health economic participation and empowerment, which results in pushing women into a vicious cycle of poverty and malnutrition.
Self-Help Groups (SHGs) are informal associations of people who choose to come together to find ways to improve their living conditions. Microfinance is a type of banking service provided to unemployed or low-income individuals or groups who otherwise would have no other access to financial services.
Microfinancing of women SHGs can help uplift even the most vulnerable and marginalised section of women in the following ways:
Though microfinancing of women SHGs can help overcome challenges like malnutrition, poverty and gender equality, it is not alone enough to change the grim situation. Additionally, there needs to be a change of patriarchal mindset, spread of awareness about SHGs and penetration of rural banking facilities.