3ie Systematic Review 23

Economic self-help group programmes for improving women’s empowerment

3ie Systematic Review 23, 2016

This systematic review examines evidence from a relatively large number of studies that purport to demonstrate the effectiveness of SHGs, incorporating evidence from quantitative and qualitative studies. The review suggests that economic SHGs have positive effects on various dimensions of women’s empowerment, including economic, political, and social empowerment. However, there was no evidence for positive effects of SHGs on psychological empowerment. Women’s perspectives on factors determining their participation in and benefits from SHGs suggest various pathways through which SHGs could achieve the identified positive impacts.

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