The Government of Rwanda has been since 1990s promoting Microfinance Programme (MFP) as a tool for Poverty Alleviation and Women’s economic and Social Empowerment. This research paper analyses whether profitability in such enterprises has resulted into more equitable gender power relations within the household. Using qualitative data, the paper explores the ways in which women, in spite of increased incomes have still to counter existing patriarchal norms and practices in society and in the household. The success and failures in the negotiations for equality between husbands and wives show that while microfinance is an important tool for moving out of poverty, it is in itself not sufficient to bring about women’s social empowerment. A more multi- focussed approach challenging patriarchy in society is necessary for this purpose.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Profitability, Patriarchy, Microfinance, Women, Empowerment, Rwanda
Thesis Advisor Rachel, Kurian
Persistent URL
Series Women, Gender, Development (WGD)
Nyinawumuntu, Y. (2012, December 14). Has Profitability challenged Patriarchy? Microfinance Programme and Gender Relations within the Household in Rwanda. Women, Gender, Development (WGD). Retrieved from