Empowering women through microfinance in post-conflict Bosnia & Herzegovina

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Sheikh, Samra
Women become vulnerable victims of conflict and disaster, that have major implications on gender relations. Consequently, they are not just seen as victims of conflict, but also as agents of change. This can have positive impacts on their lives and their communities in post-conflict rebuilding. Using a community-based participatory approach (CBRP), this research examines the lived of experiences of Microfinance Institution (MFI) loan recipients in post-conflict Bosnia & Herzegovina (BiH) where microfinancing had emerged as a tool that addressed poverty and socio-economic development and the empowerment of women. Using a mixed-methods approach, the study revealed that women who invested in small scale entrepreneurship promoted women’s empowerment, alleviated household debt, and provided access to healthcare and education for themselves and their children. Keywords: microfinance, empowerment, gender equality, poverty, socioeconomic development, widows, survivors, women, genocide, human security, post-conflict, rebuilding
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