Social Impact of Microfinance on Gender Norms and Behaviour

Social ImpactInM organised a Seminar entitled ‘The Social Impact of Microfinance on Gender Norms and Behaviour’ based on a research project undertaken jointly by InM, BRAC Development Institute (BDI), BRAC University, Dhaka, and The Population Council, New York on 5 September 2012 at conference room of InM’s Lalmatia Office. The purpose of this research is to study the spread, nature and wider impact of membership in microfinance institutions (MFIs) on gender norms and behaviour. In contrast to studies focusing on immediate and short-term impact of microfinance, particularly impact evaluation studies that utilise research designs to control for variations in broader context, this research intends to study the long-term synergistic impact of access to microfinance and context on women who form the majority of MFI beneficiaries.

The event was organised mainly to publicise the preliminary findings of the research study and two Research Briefs were disseminated at the seminar. The research attempts to understand how program influences diffuse through communities that vary in program intensity and describe how these influences are mediated by social dimensions and characteristics of the community. Ms. Simeen Mahmud, Lead Researcher, BDI, BRAC University, and Ms. Lopita Huq, Research Fellow, BDI, BRAC University, were the keynote speakers.

Dr. Quazi Mesbahuddin Ahmed, Managing Director, PKSF, chaired the seminar. Dr. Md. Mosleh Uddin Sadeque, Interim Executive Director, InM, was the moderator of the seminar. Among others, researchers, academicians, practitioners and microcredit stakeholders from different development organisations attended the Seminar.