Women, Development and Empowerment: A Pacific Feminist Perspective
This is an area where useful projects could develop. Experience in Bangladesh with village credit in the Grameen Bank project led to training, because the people were committed to the upliftment from rural poverty. The Grameen Bank made credit available to people who had no land. It did not have bank officers but trained its own officers who were seen as agents of development change. They tried to involve the people in group organisations, which had a common interest. The Bank officers gave the groups the responsibility for getting individuals to pay up their loans. The whole process adopted in this project meant that the Bank's agents had to have a very good relationship with the village. They knew the workings of the village in order to choose the right people to lend to, etc. In the past, often rural credit projects failed because money went into the wrong hands.
These are some examples of how projects can serve the community and women. A project's organisation and flexibility are important. The process involved - how a project is organised to address the real needs of people, its leadership and what people got involved - are keys to its success.