Environment and Resources

Project: Exploring the role of intra-household bargaining on the take-up, usage and effects of an e-bank and savings account offered to women in Tanzania

Project Duration

03/2018 - 12/2021 (current)

Commissioned by

IDRC, the Canadian development group

Project Team (RWI)

Prof. Dr. Nathan Fiala (Chief), Annekathrin Schoofs

Cooperation

Innovations for Poverty Action, Tanzania; University of Connecticut, USA

Summary

Globally, one in three women are not engaged with formal financial systems, with the lowest prevalence in developing countries. Some financial service providers have responded by developing financial products and services specifically targeting women. However, broader social and political constraints that interact with and prevent women from fully utilizing these products and services are often not considered, resulting in low uptake or little to no effect on their economic empowerment. Recent evidence suggests that one such constraint could be women’s low intra-household bargaining power. Research has found that intra-household dynamics have important implications for how money is used in a household, and who makes use of the money. Quantitative and qualitative work suggests that family pressure (especially that of the husband) can negatively affect the ability of women to utilize money as they want, due to their low bargaining power in the household. There is significant evidence that, for some women, sharing money with the household is not their preferred choice. This is especially common in countries where women have few rights to household resources. This study explores the role of intra-household bargaining on the take-up, usage, and effects of e-bank and savings accounts offered to female entrepreneurs in Tanzania, by varying the involvement of participants’ husbands. In addition, in some households both spouses will be invited to a training programme that aims to improve the quality of household decision making.

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