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Gender dynamics in rural finance

Context analysing

  • Families in rural areas in Nigeria often depend economically on agriculture. This makes it complicated to get a stable income during periods with bad weather conditions. When this happens, women tend to be the first ones losing their jobs and therefore their source of income.
  • An important challenge that YMCA MADA HILLS faces when implementing their programs is that there is lack of cooperation between spouses when talking and making decisions regarding the income of the household and investments in income generating activities. This affects their potential of improving their financial situation.
  • The culture and tradition around communities is what influences the dynamics within households. Most women in the community do not participate in income generating activities (they have a predominant participation in farming activities during the rainy season).
  • When working with VSLA groups trust is essential among the members of the group. In some cases, members borrow money and then run away without paying it back. It is therefore important for these groups to work on strategies and structures that ensure trust among participants.
  • In Nigeria, more women than men in rural areas don’t know how to read and write. This affects their participation and performance in VSLA because they lack knowledge on how to to do record keeping and are always dependent on literate people to support them.
  • Even when the use of GALS has helped improving the collaboration between partners, the outreach is still not enough and YMCA expects the E-Motive process to help them reaching more people and improving the gender dynamics in rural finance.