Economic Self-help Group Programmes for Improving Women's Empowerment
Women bear an unequal share of the burden of poverty globally, due to societal and structural barriers to equality. One way that governments, development agencies and grassroots women’s groups have tried to address these inequalities is through women’s self-help groups (SHGs). However, it is not clear whether and to what extent these groups empower women.
The systematic review focuses on the impacts of economic SHGs with a broad range of collective finance, enterprise and livelihood components on women’s political, economic, social and psychological empowerment. The review synthesises evidence on the effectiveness of women’s economic SHGs in stimulating women’s individual empowerment in low- and middle-income countries. It integrates evidence from rigorous impact evaluations, analysing the effects of economic SHG programmes on empowerment, and high-quality qualitative studies that examine the empowerment experiences of women participating in economic SHGs.