Improving Women’s Welfare in Burundi through Inclusive Finance
Matthew, Ester Cosmas
Saleh, Abdulkarim Onah
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Three out of every five women reported having access to a mobile money account comparedto a little over one in every fivewomen having access to eithermicrofinance or bank account. This revealed that a mobile money account is the most preferred form of financial inclusion among women in Burundi. Contrary to existing literature, microfinance account ownership which has been heralded as a panacea to poverty reduction among women was unpopular among Burundian women. Improved financial inclusion significantly enhances the accumulation of household assets by women which goes a long way to improve their welfare. Specifically, mobile money account ownership exerted a greater impact on the welfare of women than bank account ownership, while ownership of microfinance account had no effect on women’s welfare. Additionally, the effect of improved financial inclusion on the welfare of women was more pronounced in urban areas compared to rural areas. This reveals a locational disparity in effect among women in Burundi.