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Gender and Development Through Western Eyes: An Analysis of Microfinance as the West's Solution to Third World Women, Poverty, and Neoliberalism Open Access

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Since the latter half of the 20th century, women's involvement in development has been held up as the central key to ending global poverty. While sitting on this pedestal however, it has been made clear that while multinational development organizations, non-profits, and governments have called for women and gender to be mainstreamed into the development process, in reality, women and gender issues are still left on the sidelines. The purpose of this project was to analyze development schemes that aim to aid and empower Third World Women through micro finance programs--the new buzzword of economic development. During that process, I have critically addressed development programs and the integration of gender and cultural specificity. In addition, my analysis has led to useful conclusions on the use of microfinance programs under neoliberal economic policies and how that impacts the female clients of microfinance.

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