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Microfinance & Gender: Some Findings from the Financial Diaries in Malawi
by Guy Stuart, Michael Ferguson, and Monique Cohen in 2011
World Region: Africa
Opportunity International Bank of Malawi piloted a mobile banking van "bank on wheels" to bring full-service banking to remote underserved rural communities. Evidence suggests that the convenience factor of the van may have been significantly more important for women than for men. Women in the study tended conduct more but fewer transactions relative to men, mediating the family's day-to-day financial needs while the men took charge of the less frequent but more momentous transactions. To the extent this is true, it will make it harder for financial institutions to serve women profitably compared to men. Female clients of OIBM showed less dependence on cash gifts from men compared to female non-OIBM-clients, although no causal relationship can be assumed.