Grameen - Anthony Milne 800628757 PoliSci 2012 The Power Of...

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Anthony Milne 800628757 PoliSci 2012 The Power Of Women in Grameen Bank When looking at Muhammad Yunus’ micro-lending based Grameen Bank, perhaps the most intriguing aspect of this institution is the relation that it has formed with the people of Bangladesh. A banking organization relatively opposite to those of conventional methods, this so-called “Bank of the Villages” develops a mutually beneficial relationship with its borrowers by depending on a sort of innate human righteousness and novelty. Rather than relying on the common banking necessity of collateral, Grameen Bank is contingent on the function of human trust, responsibility, and creativity. With its nearly four billion dollars in loan distribution accompanied by a ninety-eight percent repayment rate and its vast expansion into other areas of social service industries from fish farming to hand-loom weaving, the success of Grameen as a financial institution is undeniable. And although this macro level success is extraordinary, it is at the individual levels of Grameen where one may find true triumph. Beyond the fight against poverty and raising individuals to a level where they can sustain their basic needs of existence, the greatest feat that Grameen accomplishes is the power that it instills in its borrowers by allowing them to complete these tasks on their own accord. The personal benefits people receive from being able to provide for themselves and their families extend beyond the obvious of sustenance and shelter and into the realms of pride and self-empowerment. This notion is primarily apparent in the context of women in Bangladeshi society and is supported by Yunus’ decision for the bank to almost exclusively serve females. The idea of female self-reliance and monetary success is one that although doesn’t seem particularly extraordinary in western
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civilization, is quite an amazing achievement in the framework of Bangladeshi society and culture. And it is the accomplishment of these feats in the light of great difficulty and doubt that allow those women that do so to receive both personal and social power that challenge the very culture from which they are repressed.
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