Main Article Content
Women’s empowerment is a crucial enabler for alleviating poverty. Microfinance is considered as a key tool for empowering women by improving access to economic and social activities. This study explores the role of microfinance for economic and social empowerment of the rural extreme poor women using primary data collected from Rangpur division of Bangladesh. Economic and social empowerment are measured using three and four indicators, respectively. Effectiveness of microfinance programs are examined using simple comparison as well as statistical analysis. Result shows that overall women’s empowerment condition is not satisfactory in the study area. However, microfinance participants enjoy relatively more economic and social empowerment than non-participants. The study also reveals that a significant use of microcredit empower the rural women significantly. Statistical analysis shows that almost all indicators are positively and significantly related to microfinance programs. More emphasis should be put on using borrowed money effectively by the program participants for income generating activities in order to make the poor women empowered.