Worldwide, about 80 percent of Savings Group members are women (SAVIX 2019). Gendered participation rates in Savings Groups mirror those of the microfinance sector, which set a precedent of emphasizing women as financial agents from its outset in the late 1970s. For advocates of women’s financial inclusion, the high ratio of female participation in Savings Groups is positive, as it contributes to addressing the persistent gender gap in access to financial services.
Despite being widely celebrated, the gender ratio in Savings Groups raises several questions. This learning brief explores how improved male engagement can further strengthen Savings Groups as a platform for financial inclusion and women’s economic empowerment.