Women's thrift cooperatives (WTCs) are self-managing and self-financing microfinance institutions (MFIs) whose membership consists entirely of women. An outgrowth of the Hyderbad-based, nongovernmental organization (NGO) Cooperative Development Foundation (CDF) in India, WTCs were formed after the CDF attempted to promote the involvement of women in existing cooperatives but encountered resistance from men in those organizations. After a number of attempts to work through another organization in the late 1980s to establish thrift cooperatives for women, the CDF embarked upon its own efforts to promote the formation of WTCs. With a focused attention on the districts of Karimnagar and Warangal in the state of Andhra Pradesh (located on the southeastern coast of India), the CDF helped to establish the first women's thrift cooperative in 1990.

Although they ...

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