Only 7% of Ugandan Women Have Bank Accounts, Study Shows

Stakeholders involved in women’s economic empowerment initiatives are urging women to formalize their businesses by gaining financial literacy, embracing digital infrastructure, and acquiring essential skills to bridge empowerment gaps.

Those driving women’s economic empowerment emphasize the importance of challenging social norms to achieve financial stability.

Speaking at the Uganda Bank Association Economic Empowerment Forum, Betty Amongi, the Minister for Gender, Labour, and Social Development, expressed concern about the slow adoption of financial digitalization among women. She pointed out that only 7% of women have voluntarily opened bank accounts, hindering business accountability.

“Women should be encouraged to invest independently, as many men profit as commission agents. Women still face challenges in making independent financial decisions and embracing digital finance,” Amongi noted.

She emphasized the need for women to defy social norms by creating pathways to enhance financial stability, addressing both soft and hard aspects when entering businesses.

Elsieg Attafuah, the Resident Representative for Uganda in the United Nations Development Programmes, highlighted persistent barriers to women’s empowerment, including investment gaps and inadequate marketing systems.

Sarah Arapta, Chairperson of the Uganda Bank Association, explained that the forum aims to increase female representation in lower tiers of the banking sector and empower women in small-scale businesses.

According to the Ministry of Gender, global wealth suffers a loss of over 160 trillion US dollars due to gender disparities in employment.

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