Are women self-help group members economically more empowered in left-run municipalities?

Who controls the income earned by members of women's self-help groups (SHG) from group activities – the women or their husbands? The answer indicates one dimension of the level of economic empowerment attained by SHG members. This paper examines whether identity of the person controlling the income earned depends upon the political party ruling the municipality where the SHG is situated. Two parties are considered – the Left Front, a coalition comprising of Leftist parties, and the Indian National Congress. This paper is based on a field study of 240 SHG members in six municipalities in West Bengal, India.

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