York University Professor Caroline Shenaz Hossein has been recognized with an award for her book Politicized Microfinance: Money, Power and Violence in the Black Americas.
The book won the International Association for Feminist Economics (IAFFE) inaugural Suraj Mal & Shyama Devi Agarwal Book Prize, which recognizes books that demonstrate new pathways in theory, methodology, empirical analysis or policy on any aspect of gender and the economy, and relating to any part of the world.
Shenaz Hossein is a professor in the Department of Social Science in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies.
This innovative book is a pioneering analysis of how microfinance is shaped by deeply racialized and gendered structures of class power. It adopts a historical and comparative perspective and draws on extensive fieldwork in five countries – Jamaica, Haiti, Trinidad and Tobago, Grenada and Guyana – where the author has interviewed informal street vendors and staff of microfinance institutions.
Through her research, Shenaz Hossein found prejudices, political power and violence shaped the operation of microfinance, though in different ways in different countries. This stimulating book raises important issues for the microfinance industry, not only in the Caribbean but also globally. It is one of the few books on gender and development that explores the role of intersecting inequalities, deploying an approach that should be more widely adopted.
The prize will be awarded at the 28th IAFFE Annual Conference at Glasgow Caledonian University from June 27 to 29. The winner receives an honorarium of $1,000, a citation, and up to $1,500 to cover expenses to attend the award ceremony at the IAFFE Annual Conference. Shenaz Hossein will make a presentation or participate in a conference event on the book’s subject.
The award was established by Bina Agarwal (IAFFE’s first president from the Global South) to honour her late parents, who, throughout their lives and with great generosity, supported young women to pursue their dreams of higher education and chart out a path of intellectual excellence.