Solutions for Financial Inclusion: Serving Rural Women
The research highlights the specific gender-based social, cultural and legal barriers that rural women face in accessing and using financial services in Uganda.
Low-income, rural women in Uganda find it difficult to access financial services despite the importance of agriculture in the country and the dominance of women in the sector. Women’s World Banking (WWB) conducted a gender research study in Uganda in 2009, with low-income rural women and men. The study identified demand- and supply-side constraints to serving the rural women’s market in Uganda. Findings indicate that women find it difficult to:
- Manage traditional gender roles along with income generating activities;
- Build assets;
- Cope with unequal participation in financial decision-making, mobility restrictions and limited social networks;
- Face education and literacy gaps;
- Manage unique life cycle needs.
The study identifies a need for financial institutions to develop financially sound methodologies that reach women customers, design affordable loan products, ensure privacy and independence in the application process and reach women through effective and low-cost delivery channels. It recommends that financial institutions focus on developing customer-driven microfinance services based on gender dynamics in rural households.