In this video in Spanish, professor Carmen Lázaro tells of her research about ancient Roman women’s microcredits.
From Asociación RUVID, a universitary organization in Valencia, Spain:
Women of ancient Rome prompted a similar system of microcredits to overcome legal exclusion
26 April 2012
Some women in ancient Rome already implemented the concept of microcredit as a loan of small amounts of money that enables people without resources to develop work projects on their own. The study conducted by the professor of Roman Law at the Universitat Jaume I Carmen Lázaro shows how women managed to evade the legal rules that excluded them from activities related with the bank and exchange through credit contracts of small amounts of money made by and among women and guaranteed by pledge agreements in which they gave as collateral personal property of small value.
The existence of this microcredit system is known through various sources, mainly epigraphic, such as the inscriptions found in Roman Granio House in Pompeii, which reflect legal transactions as the ones carried out among the moneylender Faustilla and other women with an interest at 6.25%, remaining as collateral for reimbursement by way of endorsement (through pignus-pawns) personal items such as earrings or coats.
Today, microcredit interest for women, often poorer than the Roman ladies which the new research is about, is often more than 6.25%. 20 percent or higher.
That is one of the reasons why today women doubt whether microcredits are really the miraculous panacea for all the problems of women, and of poor people, that its propagandists claim.
In the Netherlands, microcredits are propagated by Princess Máxima. She and her husband, the crown prince of the Netherlands, are very rich. First they had a scandal with an expensive villa in poor Mozambique. Then they bought a villa in Maxima’s native Argentina. Now, they are buying a villa in Greece, which, if the banking fat cats have their way, will become as poor as Mozambique.
Likewise in ancient Rome, women’s microcredits did not succeed in bringing women equality to men. Or in solving poverty. Or slavery.