Case Study

Spending, Saving and Borrowing: Perceptions and Experiences of Girls in Gujarat

This paper studies savings patterns, including barriers and control over savings in Gujarat, India
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This report is the result of an exploratory study undertaken by the 'Self Employed Women's Association' (SEWA), in partnership with the 'Population Council' to better understand:

  • The savings patterns among adolescent girls and young women;
  • The barriers they face in saving;
  • The control they exercise in operating the account and determining the use of their savings.

The report highlights the potential for increasing the involvement of adolescent and young women in savings activities and for designing appropriate and acceptable savings options and services for them.The report describes the setting of the study, its design and the characteristics of study participants. It then lists the following findings of the study:

  • Participants had access to money from at least one source.
  • Saving and spending were not mutually exclusive activities; the girls spent on themselves and also contributed towards basic household expenses and emergencies.
  • Savings patterns were varied.
  • Most study participants were unaware of savings accounts and took little part in their opening and operations.
  • Most participants were aware of SEWA's loan facilities and had availed of them.
  • Very few participants decided how the savings would be utilized; in most cases, parents or husbands made these decisions.

The report concludes by recommending:

  • Financial literacy programs for youth;
  • Life skills programs;
  • Programs that make the adult environment supportive;
  • The adaptation of financial options for adolescent girls and young women.


About this Publication

By Kalyanwala, S. & Sebstad, J.