Honors College Thesis


The Impacts of Gender-Focused Social Programs at a Micro-Finance Institution: A Case Study in Ayacucho, Peru Public Deposited

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  • The goal of this research project is to better understand the impacts and difficulties of offering gender-focused social programs through micro-lending banks. Previous research has demonstrated not only the importance of micro-lending, and the benefits of lending to women, but also the value of offering social programs specifically designed to address their needs. The project focused on the Gender Action Learning System (GALS) program, provided by FINCA-Peru, a micro-finance institution in Ayacucho, Peru. The purpose of the program was to empower women, and help them to value themselves and to plan for the future. The methodology included 57 interviews with members of FINCA-Peru who had completed the GALS training, as well as 5 interviews with leaders of the banking groups and 4 interviews with GALS program facilitators. Evaluation survey data about the program were also used. The results of the study confirm previous research showing the importance of gender-focused social programs in micro-lending institutions. Both the interview and survey responses were overwhelmingly positive. Many bank members mentioned that GALS had helped them to value themselves as women, interact and communicate with family members, and plan for the future. There were also ideas for improving
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