Microfinance is considered a major development tool in most developing countries. Specifically, its interventions have been targeted towards women as an empowerment tool. However, recent systematic reviews report on an inconclusive impact of microfinance on female empowerment. This chapter presents a meta-analysis of the impact of microfinance on five measures of female empowerment used in the empirical literature, namely mobility, decision-making power, control over finance, awareness and women's assets. No evidence of a meaningfully positive impact of microfinance on female empowerment is found. This is evident from all three meta-analysis tools used - fixed effects weighted averages, precision effect and funnel asymmetry tests (PET/FAT), and also the multivariate meta-regression analysis (MRA).
Sefa Awaworyi Churchill, “Impact of microfinance on female empowerment: A review of the empirical literature”, in Contemporary global perspectives on gender economics, IGI Global, 2015, pp. 39–54.