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Exploring the Participation of Women in Financial Cooperatives and Credit Unions in Developing Countries

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Abstract

Participation of women in microfinance institutions (MFIs) is touted to advance development in developing economies. By applying the stakeholder theory, we examine the magnitude of women’s participation across MFIs based on their legal characteristics, that is, cooperatives and non-cooperatives across the following dimensions—organizational size, efficiency, loan size, and gender mix. We find that in the case of the cooperative types of MFIs, increases in average loan sizes are associated with decreases in female participation in the administration and governance. Further, the findings demonstrate that with increases in the participation of women borrowers, the number of women in organizational governance also increases. These findings suggest important research and practical implications regarding women’s empowerment through participation in mutual cooperative societies. We conclude that credit unions and cooperatives could be an effective tool for enhancing women’s participation in organizational administration and governance.

Résumé

Dans les institutions de microfinance (IMF), la participation des femmes est mise en avant pour accentuer le développement des économies en voie de développement. En appliquant la théorie des parties prenantes, nous examinons l’importance de la participation féminine dans les IMF en fonction de leur statut légal (coopérative ou non), et selon les dimensions suivantes : taille de l’organisation, rendement, montant des prêts et mixité. Nos résultats indiquent que dans le cas des IMF coopératives, l’augmentation du montant moyen des prêts est corrélée à la diminution de l’engagement féminin dans l’administration et la gouvernance. De plus, ils démontrent que l’augmentation de la participation de femmes emprunteuses va de pair avec l’augmentation du nombre de femmes impliquées dans la gouvernance de l’organisation. Ces résultats laissent entrevoir d’importantes conséquences tant en termes de recherche que pratiques, concernant le renforcement du pouvoir des femmes par le biais de leur implication dans les sociétés coopératives mutuelles. Nous concluons que les coopératives et les mutuelles de crédit pourraient s’avérer être un outil efficace pour améliorer l’engagement des femmes dans l’administration et la gouvernance organisationnelles.

Zusammenfassung

Es wird behauptet, dass die die Mitwirkung von Frauen in Mikrofinanzinstitutionen für die Entwicklung in aufstrebenden Wirtschaften förderlich ist. Wir untersuchen mittels der Stakeholder-Theorie das Ausmaß der Mitwirkung von Frauen in Mikrofinanzinstitutionen beruhend auf ihren rechtlichen Merkmalen, d. h. Genossenschaften und Nicht-Genossenschaften, hinsichtlich der folgenden Aspekte: Größe des Unternehmens, Effizienz, Darlehensgröße und Geschlechterverhältnisse. Wir kommen zu dem Ergebnis, dass bei Mikrofinanzinstitutionen, die Genossenschaften sind, eine Erhöhung der durchschnittlichen Darlehensgröße mit einer verminderten weiblichen Mitwirkung in der Verwaltung und Unternehmensführung einhergeht. Des Weiteren zeigen die Ergebnisse, dass bei einem Anstieg von weiblichen Darlehensnehmern die Zahl der Frauen in der Unternehmensführung ebenfalls ansteigt. Diese Ergebnisse weisen auf wichtige Forschungs- und praktische Implikationen mit Hinblick auf die Stärkung von Frauen durch ihre Mitwirkung in Gegenseitigkeitsgenossenschaften hin. Wir kommen zu dem Schluss, dass Genossenschaftsbanken und Kreditgenossenschaften effektive Instrumente zur Förderung der Mitwirkung von Frauen in der Unternehmensverwaltung und -führung sein können.

Resumen

Se considera que la participación de las mujeres en las instituciones de microfinanzas (IMF/MFIs, del inglés microfinance institutions) promueve el desarrollo en las economías en vías de desarrollo. Mediante la aplicación de la teoría de las partes interesadas, examinamos la magnitud de la participación de las mujeres en las IMF basándonos en sus características legales, es decir, cooperativas y no cooperativas en las siguientes dimensiones: tamaño organizacional, eficiencia, tamaño del préstamo y mix de géneros. Encontramos que en el caso de las IMF de tipo cooperativo, los aumentos en el tamaño medio de los préstamos están asociados a disminuciones en la participación de las mujeres en la administración y la gobernanza. Asimismo, los hallazgos demuestran que con aumentos en la participación de mujeres prestatarias, el número de mujeres en la gobernanza organizacional también aumenta. Estos hallazgos sugieren importantes implicaciones prácticas y de investigación relativas al empoderamiento de las mujeres mediante la participación en sociedades mutuas y cooperativas. Concluimos que las uniones y cooperativas de crédito podrían ser una herramienta efectiva para aumentar la participación de las mujeres en la administración y gobernanza organizacionales.

Chinese

女性参与微型金融机构 (MFI) 被吹嘘为发展中经济的先期发展。通过应用利益相关者理论,我们基于其法律特性审视了女性跨MFI参与的重要性,即跨以下维度的合作和非合作 – 组织规模、效率、贷款规模和性别混合。我们发现,对于MFI的合作,平均贷款规模的增加与女性参与行政管理的减少关联。此外,发现展示随着女性借款人参与的增加,女性参与组织管理的数量也在增加。这些发现表明,重要研究以及女性参与共同合作社会的授权。我们得出的结论是,信用合作社和合作将成为鼓励女性参与组织行政管理的有效工具。

Japanese

マイクロファイナンス機関(MFI)における女性の参加は、発展途上国の発展に喧伝されている。ステイクホルダー理論を適用して、MFIにおける女性の参画の規模を調査する。具体的に 組織規模、効率性、融資の規模、男女の割合などの枠組みを持つ協同組合および非協同組合を検討する。強調型のMFI の場合、平均融資の規模の増加は、管理とガバナンスにおける女性の参加の減少に関連付けられるといえる。さらに調査結果から、女性の借り主の参加が増加することによって、組織のガバナンスにおける女性数も増加していることがわかった。相互協同組合への参加を通じて、女性のエンパワーメントについての実用的な含意と重要な研究が示唆されている。結論として、信用協同組合、協同組合組織は、組織の管理とガバナンスにおいて女性の参加を強化するための効果的なツールとなる。

Arabic

الترويج لمشاركة المرأة في مؤسسات التمويل المتناهي في الصغر (MFIs) لدفع عجلة التنمية في الإقتصادات النامي. من خلال تطبيق نظرية أصحاب المصلحة ، نحن نفحص حجم مشاركة المرأة في مؤسسات التمويل المتناهي في الصغر(MFIs) على أساس خصائصهم القانونية، هذا هو ٬المشاريع التعاونية و المشاريع الغير تعاونية عبر الأبعاد التالية - حجم التنظيم ، الكفاءة ، حجم القرض، و المزج بين الجنسين. نجد أنه في حالة أنواع المشاريع التعاونية لمؤسسات التمويل المتناهي في الصغر(MFIs) ، ترتبط الزيادات في متوسط أحجام القروض مع إنخفاض في مشاركة المرأة في الإدارة والحكم. علاوة على ذلك، تثبت النتائج أن مع الزيادة في مشاركة السيدات المقترضات ، عدد النساء في الحكم التنظيمي يزيد أيضا˝. هذه النتائج تشير إلى أهمية الأبحاث و الآثار العملية فيما يتعلق بتمكين المرأة من خلال المشاركة في الجمعيات التعاونية المتبادلة. فإننا نستنتج أن الإتحادات الائتمانية والتعاونيات يمكن أن تكون أداة فعالة لتعزيز مشاركة المرأة في الإدارة التنظيمية والسيطرة.

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Correspondence to Karabi C. Bezboruah.

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Bezboruah, K.C., Pillai, V. Exploring the Participation of Women in Financial Cooperatives and Credit Unions in Developing Countries. Voluntas 26, 913–940 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11266-014-9467-9

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Keywords

  • Financial cooperatives
  • Credit unions
  • Women decision-making
  • Microfinance Institutions