Women’s Self-Help Groups

Abstract - EN

Women’s self-help groups (SHGs) are small informal organizations consisting of ten to twenty women who frequently meet to conduct finance-related activities. The SHGs are self-reliant units that mobilize their savings, extend credit, and initiate microenterprises, thereby sustainably conducting their activities. The SHGs comprise mainly women from pockets of vulnerability in the Global South, which help them to reclaim their due share in conventional society by enhancing their security, autonomy, and self-confidence. Group liability and peer monitoring help the SHGs to sustain for decades with due support from the facilitating institutions – governmental and non-governmental. The impact of the SHGs is found to be local, in the form of the empowerment of women, the health and wellbeing of women and children, political mobilizations, decentralized planning, etc. This solidarity methodology, binding the women together, makes it sustainable for decades.