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All inclusive: lustrum UG, 5-15 June 2019

Science programme Conference: “Growing together: Celebrating diversity and fostering inclusion”

Nina Hansen en Marloes Huis

Nina Hansen
Nina Hansen
Training for empowerment.
The role of culture and gendered power in the Global South

Empowering women is an important goal to achieve sustainable development worldwide.

One prominent approach to strengthen women’s empowerment is offering women access to microfinance services (e.g., microloans, training). However, research reports mixed findings on this relation; training programs show impacts among male but not female entrepreneurs.

In this presentation, we present qualitative and quantitative research conducted in countries in the Global South where microfinance programs are implemented to strengthen the position of women. Especially, in these contexts women are not individual agents but are embedded in relationships, which also influence their position and empowerment.

In this presentation, we first offer a review on the meaning and measurement of women’s empowerment in the field of microfinance services (Huis, Hansen, Otten, & Lensink, 2017). We argue that it is crucial to differentiate between three distinct but related dimensions of women’s empowerment: personal, relational, and societal empowerment.

Next, we present three studies conducted in Bolivia (correlational), Vietnam (large randomized control trial), and Sri Lanka (small field experiments) to show how training programs could help to strengthen the position of women.

Finally, we critically discuss results and how gendered power imbalances may need to be addressed to stimulate social change towards gender equity.

Marloes Huis
Marloes Huis

Nina Hansen is Associate Professor of Social Psychology at the Faculty of Behavioral and Social Sciences, University of Groningen. Her research centers on the theme of the social psychology of cultural development. She studies cultural changes that are instigated by modernization processes.

In her first line of research, she investigates cultural change, which is often caused by development aid in the Global South. In this context, her research focuses on the (often unintended) consequences of aid projects that introduce modern innovations in these nations such as, microfinance services, novel education initiatives, and new technologies.

She is especially interested in how the position of marginalized people and women could be strengthened. In her second line of research, she focusses on cultural change instigated by migration. In this context, she is interested in the labour market integration of refugees and the impact of cultural differences for host societies and migrants.

She is regularly consulted by different governments and organizations around the world and is an expert on social impact evaluations of interventions with broad field experience in African, Asian and Latin American nations.

Marloes Huis received her Ph.D. in 2018 at the University of Groningen on the topic of women’s empowerment in the context of microfinance services. She is currently a junior researcher at the Faculty of Behavioral and Social Sciences at the University of Groningen.

She is developing a training for Dutch employers to prepare them to hire and integrate Eritreans who hold a work permit into the work place. This training development and evaluation is funded by the ‘national science agenda’.

Her research centers on the selection and retention of migrant workers, cultural psychology, women’s empowerment, and training. She has mixed-method field research experience ranging from conducting in-depth interviews to randomized controlled trials in collaboration with non-governmental organizations and project-beneficiaries in Europe, Africa, and Asia.

Last modified:02 April 2019 2.26 p.m.
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