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Stonehill College

Publication Date

Spring 2012

Program Name

Argentina: Social Movements and Human Rights

Abstract

In recent years, Argentina has been faced with many economic downfalls, specifically the economic crisis of 2001. These economic hardships led to higher rates of poverty and unemployment throughout the country. The populations most affected but such harsh economic downturns were the already vulnerable; one of which being women. Many women in Argentina and throughout Latin America occupy a lower position in society and often bear most of the burden of poverty and unemployment.

As a response to the isolation of some groups from the formal economic system, the idea of microfinance took shape. Presently in Argentina there exist over a hundred microfinance organizations, working to bring the formal economic system to those typically isolated from it. This study analyzes one such program, that of ‘Mujeres 2000’ which is a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) that supplies women in the northern metropolitan area of Buenos Aires with microcredits. This study serves to determine the effectiveness of microcredits in the process of providing women economic autonomy and social empowerment. Moreover, the study analyzes the economic and social changes, both individual and familial, that female participants have experienced as a result of receiving a microcredit.

This study suggests that microfinance programs can bring about economic autonomy and social empowerment for women but that it takes more than the monetary loan to affect this change. Rather, the study concludes that such changes can only be brought about by microfinance organizations that dedicate themselves to providing sustainable help in the form of providing not only money but the skills and knowledge necessary to allow the borrower to flourish both in their business and in their personal life.

Disciplines

Family, Life Course, and Society | Finance | Gender and Sexuality | Growth and Development | Inequality and Stratification | Women's Studies