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Survey reveals gender bias in financial service access in Kenya

Survey reveals gender bias in financial service access in Kenya

Tala Survey reveals Gender Bias in Financial Service Access

There are significant disparities in financial service access between genders in the country according to a survey conducted by Tala, a leading digital lending platform in Kenya,

The survey revealed that women face more obstacles when it comes to accessing financial services compared to men. These obstacles include limited access to formal banking services, fewer opportunities for credit, and cultural barriers that discourage women from participating in financial activities.

Out of the sample groups surveyed countrywide, 65 per cent of women respondents rated gender bias in financial services at ‘moderate’ to ‘extreme’. More men reported no gender bias, 58 per cent of them saying financial services cater to the needs of all genders equally.

Survey Findings

Limited Access to Formal Banking: Women are disproportionately underserved by formal banking institutions, with a notable gap in access to basic financial products and services such as savings accounts and loans.

Restricted Credit Opportunities: Female borrowers face greater challenges in accessing credit facilities, often encountering stricter eligibility criteria and higher interest rates compared to men, thereby impeding their ability to invest in education, entrepreneurship, and other income-generating activities.

64 per cent of women respondents in the survey by Tala reported experiencing challenges accessing financial services.

” The continued perception of gender bias in accessing financial services has led more women, especially in emerging markets such as Kenya, to self-select themselves out of borrowing or even applying for credit,” Tala’s general manager Annstella Mumbi.

The report also indicates that women entrepreneurs who have taken a loan for their business, 49 per cent report using it to purchase inventory or equipment, 25 per cent report for education, and 25 report using it to expand their space.

Cultural Barriers: Sociocultural norms and practices continue to hinder women’s financial inclusion, with prevailing attitudes often discouraging women from actively participating in financial decision-making or pursuing entrepreneurial ventures.

This gender bias can have far-reaching implications, as financial inclusion is crucial for economic empowerment and overall development. When women are excluded from financial services, they are often unable to invest in education, healthcare, or entrepreneurship, which can perpetuate cycles of poverty and inequality.

Tala surveyed over 800 Kenyans to identify the challenges and opportunities faced by women entrepreneurs in emerging markets.


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