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Microfinance and Its Discontents: Women in Debt in Bangladesh Paperback – March 7, 2011
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"It is precisely because the microcredit mantra has been so endlessly repeated, often in place of actual empirical documentation to back its claims, that Microfinance and Its Discontents is so compelling. This is an outstanding, courageous, and path-breaking piece of scholarship; one that will doubtless unsettle the microcredit establishment, and by extension, key presumptions of neoliberal research agendas." —Kamala Visweswaran, University of Texas, Austin
"Lamia Karim has done an excellent job by juxtaposing facts against myths, lies against truths and objective research against subjective hagiographies. . . . I believe this book is an important addendum to the growing literature that demonstrates and deconstructs the lies and myths about microcredit and NGO business in Bangladesh and elsewhere in the Third World." —countercurrents.org
"Karim's book is a timely contribution to the debate on microfinance, and is a challenging and engaging read for the specialist as well as the lay reader. I believe that her ideas will serve as a guideline for future researchers’ and policy-makers inquiries into the gender aspect of microfinance." —Soumya Mishra, Governance across Borders
"Karim’s book serves as a stark and timely reminder of the value of ethnographic research in offering a deeper understanding of how developmental interventions in specific institutional and local contexts may reproduce or even exacerbate structural inequalities, and also in informing the strategies that seek to counter these inequalities." —Economic & Political Weekly
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There are other studies that have looked at the MF operations of BRAC and ASA, the other two major development MF NGOs in Bangladesh. Together these three serve over 20 million customers with billions of dollars of loans and member savings accumulated. The micro loans are collateral free and all transactions are free of "legal" documents. These are remarkable numbers, in countries otherwise infested with corruption.Read more ›