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University of Toronto Scarborough
Health Studies
Denis Maxwell

HLTC02 WINTER 2013 Week #5: Microcredit and Violence: A Snapshot of Kerala, India Introduction  Microcredit: small loans usually given to the poor and unemployed people that enable them to meet their immediate needs, or capital for starting/expanding micro enterprises, or for meeting the educational expenses for their children  Recipients are usually those who lack collateral security to borrow money from the formal banking system and who normally do not have an assured source of income through a stable job  Women are preferred clients because the impact of poverty is harsher on women than men, money given to women is likely to be utilized for the common good of family  Women are better repayers of loans than men  Increasing violence against women in Kerala, India such as dowry murder for instance  Passage of Domestic Violence Act of 2005 to have stronger civil remedies such as protection orders, residence orders and monetary relief The Discourse of Microcredit and Globalization  Gendered dynamics of globalization o Feminization of labor  Increased percentage of labor force, increased informalization and flexiblilzation of labor results in insecure, substandard, and unhealthy conditions as temporary part time workers and the phenomenal increase of female micro entrepreneurs and home based workers  Feminization of migration – transnational motherhood due to domestic work, and increased international sex trafficking  Privatization leading to the erosion of state sovereignty and the withdrawal of the state from the social sector which shifts the burden of care giving on women while making health and education increasingly unaffordable to the poor segments of the population o Transnational motherhood involves spatial and temporal separations from children and women may feel guilt if she is looking after affluent kids but not her own o Neoliberalism: structure of belief predicated on the promulgation of the ideals of individual freedom, free market and uncurbed entrepreneurship o World Bank has embraced neoliberalism and it has influenced its decision to argue for cuts to public spending and increased privatization to pay off debts o Why did microcredit become an attractive proposition for global lending agencies HLTC02 WINTER 2013  Marx: capitalist over accumulation to sustain itself, it must penetrate newer spheres and create newer social wants and needs  Credit itself becomes a commodity a surplus commodity, that needs to be reinvested  Neoliberal ideology the impetus to reduce state interference in matters of welfare and safety nets, and the increased privatized of formerly state owned enterprises, the vacuum of social service provision fell mainly to NGOS  NGOs functions: managing education, health, industries, training, aid, activism, protection of street children, women, orphans, reforestation, environmental and developmental protection and activities Microcredit and Violence Against Women  VAW: vehement feeling or expression, mental cruelty, threat of use of force, to exerti
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