Pakistan Institute of Development Economics



Poor Women’s Participation in Credit-based Self-employment: The Impact on their Empowerment, Fertility, Contraceptive Use, and Fertility Desire in Rural Bangladesh

By analysing a 1992 national level household sample survey data collected from the female recipients of collateral-free loans of three relatively large rural development agencies in Bangladesh-GB, BRAC, and BRDB-the present study shows that the participation in income-generating projects by poor rural women had been associated with their increased level of contraceptive use, decreased level of fertility, elevated level of desire for no more children, and enhanced level of empowerment. Some of these effects were much higher than those of the corresponding levels for Bangladesh as a whole, indicating the possible additional effect of income-generating projects as well as the effects of their population-education components. The implications of these findings for an integrated development strategy m Bangladesh are discussed.

Yiping Lii, Robert B. Hill, Ruhul Amin