India is a developing country, 68.84% of Indian population resides in villages (According to Census 2011). Being an agrarian economy, majority of the population depends upon agriculture to earn a living. In the year 2012, Government of India stated that 22% of its overall population is below official poverty limit. The gender inequality existing in demographic composition of a society depicted by the socio-economic conditions of female population, poverty, their literacy rate, employment opportunities, life expectancy etc. Census 2011 depicts that female population accounts for 48.5% of the total population. Women need helping hands to improve their condition, they have no access to credit, they are unaware of financial terms/ products etc. Microfinance emerged as a ray of hope for rural women, which provides them financial assistance at their doorstep. Empowerment of women means an overall 360 degrees empowerment of them, may it be financial, psychological, legal, political etc. This study is a modest attempt to explain microfinance’s role in empowering rural women of our nation.
Keywords : Microfinance, rural women empowerment.