Gender Gaps: African women lag in asset ownership and financial decision-making in households - Report

Gender Equality in Africa (africa-ontherise)
  • Afrobarometer and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have surveyed gender equality in Africa.
  • According to the report, women are significantly less likely than men to own key assets.
  • Women are also less likely than men to hold financial decision-making power in the household.

A new survey by Afrobarometer survey has revealed that African women lag behind men in ownership of assets and are substantially less likely to have decision-making power over household resources.

The report, conducted in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, surveyed 34 African countries through face-to-face interviews.

▪ On average across 34 African countries, women are significantly less likely than men to own key assets such as mobile phones (an 11-percentage-point gap compared to men), a radio (18 points), a television (7 points), a bank account (10 points), a car or motorcycle (16 points), and a computer (6 points)

▪ But ownership patterns vary by country. The average gender gap across these six assets is less than 5 percentage points in Madagascar, Namibia, and Cabo Verde but reaches 27 points in Benin, followed by Mali (24 points) and Burkina Faso (23 points) (Figure 2).

▪ Women are also less likely than men to hold financial decision-making power in the household. Asked who decides how to use money they have or earn, more than half (52%) of male respondents say they make these decisions themselves, compared to 38% of female respondents (Figure 3),

Another 40% of women and 38% of men say they decide jointly with their spouse or other family members. One in five women (22%) have no role in deciding how their money will be used, more than twice the number among men (9%).

▪ Women have particularly weak voices when it comes to financial decision-making in Morocco (38-point gap compared to men), Burkina Faso (39 points), and Sudan (35 points).

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