Gender Norms in Financial Markets: Evidence from Kenya

An analytical approach to examining gender influence on the demand and access to financial services
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This paper considers the role of gender relations for rules and norms in financial markets. The main objectives of the study are as under:

  • To investigate the influence of gender on the use of a range of financial services in a local financial market;
  • To explain this gender-differentiated pattern of rotating savings and credit associations (ROSCA) use.

The paper looks at the role of gendered norms from two perspectives:

  • In terms of their influence on the demand side;
  • In terms of influencing access to financial services on the supply side.

The study uses evidences from Central Kenya and develops an analytical framework for establishing the influence of gender on the demand for and on the access to financial services.

  • It explains the gender differentiated use of (ROSCAs);
  • It analyzes intra-household norms related to income and expenditure flows and their management to identify gendered patterns of demand;
  • By conceptualizing financial intermediaries as operating within rules and norms, it allows the influence of gender relations on access to financial services to be more systematically investigated.

The paper finally concludes with:

  • Implications of the approach;
  • Its findings for analysis of gender in financial markets;
  • Empowerment impact of microfinance and consequent approaches to practice.

About this Publication

By Johnson, S.