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Sholevar, Maryam (2023) Mind the Gap: the Relationship Between Gender, Financial Inclusion and Financial Literacy. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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Ambitious plans for sustainable development in Ethiopia since the mid-2000s have significantly improved the financial inclusion of women along with the wider financially excluded population. However, the critical question about the gender gap is still at stake. To analyse the current status of financial inclusion and financial literacy, we have to develop a more comprehensive method since available research tends to focus on a limited number of factors, which are primarily relevant in developed economies. Building on the existing literature, the first part of this research developed a new conceptualisation of financial literacy and financial inclusion, incorporating a pragmatic perspective. A comprehensive questionnaire was designed to examine financial literacy and financial inclusion and used to collect data on a number of variables. Jimma (the second largest city of Ethiopia with strategic economic and geopolitical interests, as opposed to the capital, the home of international/big corporations, and its surrounding towns were chosen as the sampling population. The second part is the empirical analysis of the collected data using various statistical techniques. Since the questionnaire included the standard methods of measuring financial literacy, the usefulness of the method developed here was demonstrated through a comparative study. The questionnaire answers were interpreted into numerical data for statistical analysis by Stata. Various analytical methods were employed to evaluate the reliability of the proposed scale and standard measures. Since the ratio of financially excluded women in Ethiopia overshadows those who are financially included, the equal ratio of male/female participants was used in the present study. It was found that amongst women who are financially included, there is no significant gender gap in terms of financial literacy. In other words, financial inclusion is associated with a wider set of cultural barriers rather than the lack of financial literacy per se. A positive correlation between trust, financial literacy and inclusion was found. The results have implications for policy, most notably, that policies to increase financial inclusion have to go beyond finance itself to incorporate other socio-economic factors, such as equal access to education.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses
Supervisors Name: Christine Oughton, Laurence Harris and Gerhard Kling
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 12 Mar 2023 10:00
Funders: Other, Economic and Social Research Council, Other

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