Gendered Social Norms Diagnostic and their Impact on Women’s Financial Inclusion in Rwanda 

Executive summary:

Access to Finance Rwanda (AFR) is a Rwandan not-for-profit organisation established in March 2010. AFR’s strategic focus is stimulating financial sector development by partnering with financial institutions and other stakeholders to increase access to and use of financial services. AFR identifies and addresses constraints that prevent the financial market from reaching Rwanda’s low-income population and promotes innovations and learning that result in sustainable change in the financial sector. Improving access to financial services for women, rural poor, and youth is a particular focus. AFR is guided by the Making Markets Work for the Poor (M4P) approach recognising that efforts to increase financial inclusion have to be market-led in order to ensure sustainability. AFR supports the Government of Rwanda’s development objectives by aligning all of its interventions to national policy frameworks, including the Financial Sector Development Programme (FSDP II) and the National Strategy for Transformation (NST) 2017-2014.

AFR commissioned MarketShare Associates (MSA) to conduct this gendered social norm diagnostic in Rwanda, which is aimed at better understanding how particular social norms influence women entrepreneurs’ financial inclusion (or exclusion) in Rwanda. Specifically, the diagnostic intended to generate insights and influence AFR programming around financial services and policy by developing a good understanding of how gendered social norms affect women entrepreneurs’ financial inclusion. The study follows MSA’s Behavioural Analysis and Norm Diagnostic (BAND) and CGAP and MSA’s Gendered Social Norms in Financial Inclusion Diagnostic Guidance.

This study provides country-level insights into social norms that impact women entrepreneurs’ access to, use of, and benefits from financial services. It also generates new insights on how gendered social norms impact women entrepreneurs’ access to and usage of financial services. These findings can be leveraged to influence the financial market system to better meet women entrepreneurs’ financial needs, lead to better development outcomes, and influence stakeholders and decision-makers to promote their financial inclusion. 

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