Feminism, Women’s Agency, and Subjective Well-Being: Women’s Experiences of Village Community Banks in Tanzania



This study addresses some limitations in the understanding of the relationship between micro-credit facilities and women's empowerment, particularly when seen in terms of micro-credit's capacity to reduce the vulnerabilities of resource-poor households and to encourage women's engagement in providing for themselves with basic needs. Although such empowerment, seen through its material implications, may be limited in confronting macro-structural processes within which exclusion and exploitation are firmly rooted, many studies put less emphasis on how it may stimulate women’s self-appreciation and agency. Using a qualitative analysis of Village Community Banks (VICOBA) in Tanzania, this article shows how women experience ownership of the processes related to VICOBA as a resource for agency, and how, through such ownership, they claim empowerment as individuals; and interpret their actions within VICOBA as expressive of their subjective well-being.


micro-credit, well-being, women’s agency

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