Microfinance relies on a normative set of claims around gender equality and women’s economic empowerment. As such, it would seem to be an ideal place to study gender norms in action. A case study from Uganda looks at the offices of the country’s largest microfinance NGO, BRAC and the lives of microfinance beneficiaries in the field. In both situations discussions of gender were largely absent. The chapter explores the reasons for this absence showing the ways in which gender concerns lost out to other agendas. In the office there was a language of efficiency, scale and growth. In the field there was a concern with fraud and inequality. What links both situations were a set of questions about the legitimacy of microfinance as an approach to development.
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Jones, B. (2019). Missing Women: The Crowding Out of Gender Equality Norms in Ugandan Microfinance. In: Engberg-Pedersen, L., Fejerskov, A., Cold-Ravnkilde, S.M. (eds) Rethinking Gender Equality in Global Governance. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-15512-4_8
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