Driving Savings Habits Among Adolescent Girls in Uganda
Despite having one of the youngest and fastest growing populations in the world, Uganda is confronted with a high rate of youth unemployment. For young women, the situation is even worse. A recent study by *Pettersen (2017) shows that women face higher unemployment rates than men, and that socially constructed gender norms and cultural practices discriminate against young women’s access to employment. Moreover, due to several socio-economic and personal factors, young women face barriers to building assets for future financial security. One way of ameliorating the situation is to empower young women to save.
In 2017, UNCDF wanted to explore technology as an efficient delivery channel for non-financial services to complement existing financial service packages offered to young women and adolescent girls in Uganda. UNCDF sought to develop an interactive mobile application training adolescent girls (particularly low income and those living in rural areas) in critical topics relating to reproductive health and financial education.
Every1Mobile (E1M), in partnership with Finance Trust Bank (FTB), was contracted by UNCDF to design the digital solution element of the “bringing financial and non-financial services to adolescent girls (aged 14-24) through technology” project. The application, linked to an e-wallet, would enable young women to track and reach their savings goals.
E1M has developed Trust Girls, a highly dynamic and engaged online community that offers Financial Education and Sexual & Reproductive Health Education in a fun and non-condescending way.
The project activities are expected to improve young women’s knowledge and understanding of finances and sexual and reproductive health as well as motivate members of the online community to regularly share learning with their peers about sexual health and saving. Young women will then be able to make more informed decisions about their finances and sexual reproductive health, making young women financially independent, leading to economic empowerment and gender equality.
*Pettersen (2017). Youth Unemployment in Uganda: Challenges and survival strategies for young women in Kampala. Available at : https://munin.uit.no/bitstream/handle/10037/11953/thesis.pdf?sequence=2