In this paper we empirically investigate the role of culture in determining the gender-targeting strategy of microfinance institutions (MFIs). We use female/male grammatical distinctions in language as the manifestation of culturally-inherited gender values. Our findings indicate that grammatical gender distinctions have a significant effect on the targeting strategy of MFIs. Specifically, MFIs target women in cultures where they are most likely to experience financial discrimination. This suggests that MFIs adapt to disparate discriminatory cultures in a way that serves their core mission of outreaching financially-excluded women, particularly where such strategy is most needed.
- Gender marking in language
- Gender-targeting strategy
- The global microfinance industry