Multimedia Collection

The Women's Bank of Bangladesh

102 min
HG3290.6 .A8 W66 2006 v.1-2 DVD

Vol. 1: The Women's Bank of Bangladesh
More than 100 million people live below poverty level in Bangladesh – many of them women. Thanks to the Grameen Bank and the small-business loans it makes to women only, many of them and their families are beginning to prosper. This program describes the philosophy, development, and function of the bank, then follows the daily activities of three women who have taken out loans to fund their cottage industries. We follow the women to bank-sponsored support groups and business classes, and watch as they sign their names and receive their loans. "Allah is going to punish anybody involved in the Grameen Bank!" shouts one Islamic leader, who, along with most males, opposes the loans as being contrary to Islamic law. But bank founder and economics professor Muhammad Yunus defends the bank's policies, stating that women in the region are more competitive in business than men. The Grameen Bank model has been copied in more than 40 countries throughout the world.

Vol. 2: Small Change, Big Business: The Women's Bank of Bangladesh 10 Years Later
Micro credit – small loans administered with no collateral requirement – might represent the most powerful weapon in the fight against global poverty. But is micro credit a sustainable solution? This program follows up on the 1995 documentary The Women's Bank of Bangladesh which examined Bangladesh's Grameen Bank, a pioneering micro credit provider focused mainly on struggling women. Small Change, Big Business revisits loan recipients a decade later, studying the long-term effects of micro credit in their households and in their Islamic community. The video also interviews Grameen bank founder Muhammad Yunus, who sheds further light on the bank's methods and goals. Portions are in Bangla with English subtitles.

Distributed by Films for the Humanities & Sciences (

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