Published December 5, 2018
Congratulations to Assistant Professor Nadine Shaanta Murshid and Assistant Professor Annahita Ball on the publication of their article, "Examining women's physical mobility and microfinance participation in Bangladesh: Results from a nationally representative sample" in Women's Studies International Forum.
Murshid, N.S. & Ball, A. (2018). Examining women's physical mobility and microfinance participation in Bangladesh: Results from a nationally representative sample. Women’s Studies International Forum.
Using data from the 2011 Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey, this study examined the association between physical mobility of women and their participation in microfinance, an anti-poverty empowerment program in Bangladesh. Physical mobility was operationalized by a two-item measure that assessed whether women can and if they do go out alone to seek health care. Chi squared tests and propensity score matching techniques were used to examine the association between physical mobility and microfinance participation. Results revealed that women who reported to have physical mobility were 12 percentage points more likely to participate in microfinance compared to a matched group of women who reported to not have physical mobility. In conclusion, the findings indicate that social welfare programs are successful to the extent that norms and institutions support those programs. Furthermore, it highlights the contradiction between the proliferations of empowerment programs and patriarchal social, cultural, and infrastructural barriers that prevent women from accessing such programs.