Top six insights on Gender from FinScope data across the SADC region

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FinScope data analysis has revealed many insights on gender. The analysis shows high levels of exclusion for women in Southern African Development Community (SADC) with a recorded 35% of women excluded, compared with 30% for men. This reflected a gender gap of 5% compared to the global gender gap of 7%.

Some of these gender insights based on FinScope data are summed up as:

  1. Most women in remote areas are served by informal financial service providers (42% versus 36% for men). From this insight FinMark Trust believes that by building and strengthening the financial and managerial capacity of these informal financial service providers it will allow the majority of rural females to get quality financial services at a cheaper cost while simultaneously mitigating risks in the informal sector.
  2. An economic analysis points to the fact that financial inclusion is strongly linked with income generating capability, and if addressed, could garner gender equality in economic activities.
  3. Through deeper analysis in the SADC countries, Malawi has the biggest gender gap in bank account usage at 19 percentage points, while the gap in access to bank accounts is only 8 percentage points. The gender gap in access to bank credit is bigger even in countries where the level of access is the highest. Generally, the gap in account usage is wider than account ownership across the SADC region.
  4. More women use someone else’s account. This is the case predominantly in Zambia (20%), Tanzania (16%) and Eswatini (10%).
  5. Even after controlling for individual characteristics such as household size, age, education, place of residence, marital status, employment status, income, and level of education, gender affects financial inclusion implying that financial services are biased against females.
  6. Targeted financial education programmes directed at women will enable them to develop a reasonable understanding about the language used by financial service providers. Empowering women to develop skills in household financial management may lead to their empowerment, and increased involvement in household financial decisions.

FMT has partnered with several SADC-based Financial Sector Deepening Trusts (FSDs) to heighten the attention and actions in support for financially including women. A convening forum is scheduled for 28 – 29 March 2019 in Johannesburg, South Africa. The forum has the following objectives in order to make gender advocacy a priority:

  1. Create a regional convening platform for various market players that seek to promote women financial inclusion in SADC while building awareness on issues around gender and financial inclusion. Unifying the regional initiatives that promote women financial inclusion – through sharing of lessons, experiences and capacity building.
  2. Identify approaches to strategically integrate and evaluate programs though a gender lens.
  3. Determining policy options to increase women financial inclusion and develop recommendations for policy makers, regulators and all stakeholders to support women’s financial inclusion efforts.

The workshop discussions will be posted on our FMT website.

For more information contact


Kingstone Mutsonziwa
Head of the Information and Research
Email: kingstonem@finmark.org.za
Tel: +27 (0) 11 315 9197