Can the vicious cycle of gender inequality, poverty and malnutrition be broken through microfinancing of women SHGs? Explain with examples. UPSC 2021, 10 Marks

Q8. क्या लैंगिक असमानता, गरीबी और कुपोषण के दुश्चक्र को महिलाओं के स्वयं सहायता समूहों को सूक्ष्म वित (माइक्रोफाइनेन्स) प्रदान करके तोड़ा जा सकता है? सोदाहरण स्पष्ट कीजिए। (उत्तर 150 शब्दों में दीजिए)

Q8. Can the vicious cycle of gender inequality, poverty and malnutrition be broken through microfinancing of women SHGs? Explain with examples. (150 words) 10 Marks

Ans .  Self-Help Group play a major role in poverty alleviation in rural area and hasten country’s economic Development. SHGs have evolved as a movement constitute mainly of women members . The SHG promotes small savings members.  Self-Help Group (SHG) is a small voluntary association of poor people, preferably from the same socio-economic background.


  • To examine the role of SHG in developing socio economic status of rural women.
  • To alleviate rural poverty and increase employment opportunity.
  • To promote income generating activities in rural household women.
  • It provides for the Micro- Financing benefits for rural poor households. Microfinance becomes a ladder for the poor to bring them up not only economically but also socially, mentally and break them from the stronghold of exploitative money lenders
  • Enhances the profitability for rural people.
  • Bank – SHG linkage provides financial support to SHGs.
  • Economic empowerment.
  • Social empowerment means that the woman get an important place in her family and society. It has resulted in developing self-confidence, self-esteem and self-respect also.
  • Saving and Financial Decision Making
  • Access to credit and the improvement in the quality of life.
  • Employment .
  • Social integrity and Gender Equity.
  • Improving efficiency of government schemes and reducing corruption through social audits

Self Help Group is an important tool which helps the rural women to acquire power for their self-supportive life. Empowering women is not just for meeting their economic needs but also more holistic social development.

There is a very positive impacts on empowerment and nutritional intake as they provide them the necessary say in order to take decisions that affect them in bothy negative and positive way. This has also been seen in the improvement of the Nutritional benefit.

Measures to Make SHGs Effective

  • The Government should facilitate and promote, creates a supportive environment for the growth and development of the SHG movement.
  • Expanding SHG Movement to Credit Deficient Areas.
  • Rapid expansion of financial infrastructure, capacity building measures in these States.
  • Extension of Self-Help Groups to Urban/Peri-Urban Areas.
  • Positive Attitude.
  • Monitoring.

Kudumbashree in Kerala to wipe out absolute poverty through community action.  It is the largest women empowering project in the country. It has three components i.e., microcredit, entrepreneurship and empowerment.

Mahila Arthik Vikas Mahamandal (MAVIM) in Maharashtra to cope with growing volume and financial transactions and needed professional help. It provides financial and livelihood services to SHGs.

Active involvement in different SHG-initiatives helps members to grow leadership-skills. They have representatives also in the Panchayati Raj Institution (PRI). This SHG grouping in its true potent if excludes the weaknesses can really help in the growth and prosperity of the rural hinterland by effectively increasing the participation of the women fight the evils of inequality, malnutrition and poverty.

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