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Women's World Banking Welcomes New Network Member From Tunisia
Date:9/10/2007

Enda Inter-Arabe Is a Leader in Supporting Women's Emancipation Through

Economic Participation

NEW YORK, Sept. 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The power of microfinance to provide better economic opportunities for low-income entrepreneurs is emerging in the Arab world. Tunisia is the third Arab country, after Jordan and Morocco, to be represented in the WWB network. In all, WWB's three Arab network members serve more than 480,000 low-income clients in the region, most of them women.

"Money is important for people, but for centuries Muslim women didn't have access to money and so it was easy to exploit them," says Essma Ben Hamida, Co-Director of Enda Inter-Arabe, the first and largest microfinance institution in Tunisia and Women's World Banking's newest network member organization. "When women are less poor, when they have access to money, they can improve their living conditions -- their housing, the education of their children -- and they are less vulnerable."

"WWB is excited to welcome Enda Inter-Arabe as our first new network member in four years," says WWB President Mary Ellen Iskenderian. "This is a major step in our planned expansion of microfinance in the Middle East."

Enda I-A was created in 1990 as a branch of Enda Third World, the Environment and Development Action agency based in Dakar, Senegal, with affiliates in 21 countries. Since its founding, Enda I-A has demonstrated that when women have access to business capital and to training, their self- confidence and horizons expand; the quality of life of their families improves and they feel they have a stake in preserving the stability of their communities.

One sign of economic growth among Enda's 54,000 clients -- 85% percent of whom are women -- is that an increasing number of them are requesting larger, individual loans rather than the smaller group loans that are typically given to first-time borrowers. In addition to business credit, hou
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SOURCE Women's World Banking
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