Women's experiences of micro-enterprise: Contexts and meanings

Roni Strier, Ziad Abdeen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The article confronts global claims of micro-enterprise to promote poverty reduction and gender equality. The article examines 60 in-depth interviews with low-income Palestinian and Israeli Jewish women (aged 25-45 years) who engaged in micro-enterprises. The research particularly focused on women's motivations, personal qualities required for success, systemic barriers and opportunities, and women's constructions of micro-enterprise as a means to overcome poverty and achieve gender equality. The article indicates that in the frame of gender and economic exclusionary context, without comprehensive institutional support, micro-enterprise and self employment may not promise more than a partial solution to poverty and gender discrimination. The article questions the tendency to globalize policies without taking into account the local contexts in which these policies are implemented.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)566-579
Number of pages14
JournalSex Roles
Issue number7-8
StatePublished - Sep 2009


  • Anti-poverty programs
  • Diversity
  • Gender
  • Israel
  • Micro-enterprise
  • Palestine
  • Poverty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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