Since microfinance began in the early 1970s, approximately 70 percent of the clients of microfinance institutions (MFIs) – and often 100 percent – have been women. The reason for this is deliberate and strategic. It was soon recognized that women are the best conduit for ensuring that microfinance confers the greatest possible benefit on the greatest number of people. Throughout the world, women are responsible for the well-being of their families. Most girls are obliged to start performing household chores at an early age – sometimes as soon as they can walk – and this develops a work ethic and.