Missing Women: The Crowding Out of Gender Equality Norms in Ugandan Microfinance

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Microfinance relies on a normative set of claims around gender equality and women’s economic empowerment. As such, it would seem to be an ideal place to study gender norms in action. A case study from Uganda looks at the offices of the country’s largest microfinance NGO, BRAC and the lives of microfinance beneficiaries in the field. In both situations discussions of gender were largely absent. The chapter explores the reasons for this absence showing the ways in which gender concerns lost out to other agendas. In the office there was a language of efficiency, scale and growth. In the field there was a concern with fraud and inequality. What links both situations were a set of questions about the legitimacy of microfinance as an approach to development.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRethinking Gender Equality in Global Governance
Subtitle of host publicationThe Delusion of Norm Diffusion
EditorsLars Engberg-Pedersen, Adam Fejerskov, Signe Marie Cold-Ravnkilde
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-15512-4
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-15511-7
Publication statusPublished - 27 Apr 2019

Cite this