Case Study

Gender Access to Credit Under Ghana's Financial Sector Reform: A Case Study of Two Rural Banks in the Central Region of Ghana

Has the gender access to credit increased due to financial liberalization in Ghana?

The paper investigates the influence of financial sector reforms (FSR) on gender accessibility to credit, in Ghana. It studies gender- specific issues in the light of the credit operations of two rural banks - Brakwa-Breman and Kakum - in central Ghana.

The major findings of the paper are:

  • New banking products have been introduced. Some of these are specially aimed at women, e.g. the Integrated Susu and Credit with education to women (CREW);
  • More proportion of women have gained access to credit than men;
  • FSR has not achieved much success on account of reducing the cost of credit and reducing credit access modalities for the poor rural woman;
  • Access to credit is easier for salary earners than non-salary earners;
  • Marginalization of women and farmers continues despite the positive effects of the FSR.

The paper further makes recommendations to specific stakeholders of the Ghanaian financial sector. On the basis of both secondary as well as survey data, the paper reveals that the FSR have made significant impact on gender access to credit. However, not all credit beneficiaries depend on the banks for loans.

The paper, thus, concludes that even though the reforms do not specifically address gender accessibility to credit, they have facilitated the process to strengthen poor women's access to credit via the introduction of new banking products.

About this Publication

By Ekumah, E.K. , Essel, T.T.