Trigger Warning: Mentions of suicide

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For many women in Sri Lanka, small loans can have a big impact. That is the sole purpose of microfinance loans – to provide affordable financial assistance to those from low-income backgrounds in order to help them improve their living conditions. In reality, however, these loans have further entrenched those who obtain them into poverty and, in some cases, pushed them to take their own lives. A month ago, over 100 women gathered in Hingurakgoda, protesting microfinance loan mechanisms and the government’s blasé attitude towards regulating companies that offer them. This is a deep dive into the macro problem of microfinance loans.