Representations of Women in Microcredit Promotional Materials: The Case of Espoir Ecuador

Research paper by Lidia Valencia‐Fourcans, Roberta Hawkins

Indexed on: 14 Mar '16Published on: 24 Aug '15Published in: Journal of International Development


In this paper, we explore the nature and practices of representations of women in microcredit promotional discourses. Based on the case of Espoir, a microcredit non‐governmental organization in Ecuador, we argue that the representations of women in microcredit promotional discourses have been reshaped increasingly by neoliberal configurations of power. These discourses reinforce the conceptualization of women as key actors in the development process—of their households and communities, and Ecuador as a nation. This conceptualization elicits conflicting and contradictory implications that may empower women but exacerbate neoliberal understandings of development that can undermine gender equality. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.