On today’s episode of the Hidden Economics of Remarkable Women, we’re headed to Uganda, where a group of women are saving money—and participating in a pilot program called “Household Dialogues” from the nonprofit CARE, where they’re attending a form of couples counseling. Host Reena Ninan speaks with Namara Eve, who participated in the Household Dialogues, and Julia Arnold, senior research director at Accion’s Center for Financial Inclusion.
But before we get into the Household Dialogues project, let us first explain a bit about women’s savings groups. Informal savings groups operating outside of a bank, where around a dozen individuals from a local community band together to save their money collectively, are a common practice in Uganda. One estimate showed that around two-thirds of all adults in Uganda save money that way, including a large number of women’s only groups. And during the pandemic in sub-Saharan Africa, FP Analytics notes that households with a member in an informal savings group have been more likely to have savings and less likely to experience food insecurity.
Women’s informal savings groups, however, can only do so much. To access larger sums of capital, the women need to join a bank, and oftentimes own a smartphone. And for many of these women, their husbands have the only smartphone in the household—which can be a barrier to the women’s economic advancement. So, in the Household Dialogues project, CARE financial counselors met seven times with women and their spouses to help the husbands be more actively supportive.
To hear more about the Household Dialogues project, listen to our latest episode on this page or subscribe on your favorite podcast app. The Hidden Economics of Remarkable Women is a Foreign Policy podcast supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
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