Katha: investing in poverty alleviation through education and the economic empowerment of women

House, Lauren
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University of Delaware
Inspired by the work of a non-government organization called KATHA, this study is an observation of poverty alleviation efforts taking place in India. In particular, this research focuses on the important role microfinance and education play in the economic, social, and political empowerment of women. Microfinance received a huge publicity bump in 2006 when Muhammad Yunus won the Nobel Peace Prize for his successful implementation of micro-credit programs in Bangladesh. Having witnessed the potential of bottom-up development through micro-credit, India's citizen sector continues to experiment with different forms of microfinance. This thesis serves to detail one form of microfinance facilitated through self-help groups, a method that the Indian government first promoted in 1992. Through the stories of a group of women from a slum community called Govindpuri, this thesis addresses the complexity of empowering Indian women through microfinance.