Throughout the developing world, it is crucially important to empower women when trying to lift a country out of poverty.  By not allowing women to work, you are eliminating half of the work force for the country.  Evidence has surfaced recently that microfinance in some countries may not be as successful at reaching female clients as previously thought.  When it comes to Pakistan, only fifty-nine percent of microfinance clients are female.  Often, a woman may apply for a loan, but the money is acquired by a male member or members of the family.  Men who can’t borrow because of a bad loan or credit history use the women in their families to get access to these financial resources.  The World Bank estimates that only fifty to seventy percent of the microfinance loans granted to women in Pakistan are actually used by those women.  Even worse, women borrowers are still responsible for paying them back.  Often in Pakistan, women are required to have a male sponsor if they wish to borrow a loan.  This poses a great problem for widows and unmarried women who want to start a small business.  There needs to be a dramatic shift in the regulatory policies in order to effectively reach female borrowers, especially in Pakistan.

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About Katherine Rodota

Katherine is a recent graduate from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo where she studied International Business and French. She is currently working at a private equity firm in the San Francisco Bay Area. Katherine loves to travel, and recently spent her summer volunteering in Mauritius.