Does Financial Inclusion Promote Women Empowerment? Evidence from Bangladesh

Md. Nur Alam Siddik


Financial inclusion empowers individuals and families, especially women and the poor, and well-functioning financial systems enrich whole countries. While a plethora of literature exists in connection between the financial inclusion and women empowerment most of those are cross country studies and findings are mixed. And there is relative dearth of studies examining the nexus of financial inclusion and women empowerment of developing economy, particularly Bangladesh. This study attempted to fill this gap. In order to achieve the objective, a survey, by means of structured questionnaire, has been conducted on 500 rural women living in the Kurigram and Gaibandha district of Bangladesh during January to February 2017. Study reveals that financial inclusion increases women income, purchasing power, living standard and position in the family. Study also reveals that after availing financial inclusion progrmmes, rural women become able to meet their emergencies, give child better education, get better medical facility, reduce dependency on local money lenders which means that financial inclusion programmes promotes women’s economic empowerment. Findings of the study is of greater importance to the academicians, practitioners and policy makers of the country to design such packages as to foster financial inclusion which will lead to more women empowerment which in turn will lead to the inclusive development of the country.

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Applied Economics and Finance    ISSN 2332-7294 (Print)   ISSN 2332-7308 (Online)

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