Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Adoption of the M-Pesa mobile payment technology has improved the lives of women in Kenya

"For White, the adoption of M-Pesa has brought significant positive changes for the women in these communities.
Firstly, many women now have the ability to save their money in a safe place and build up resources for costly activities and purchases such as helping their families and, most importantly, sending their children to school. Women stated that they were much less likely to spend their money when they saved it in M-Pesa rather than in their homes. Also, in the past, men often used their wives’ money to buy alcohol or other personal items, leaving the women with insufficient funds to process fish. With the women’s money saved in M-Pesa, their husbands no longer have easy access to it.
The women’s transportation expenses have drastically gone down too. This includes the direct costs of transport and the money the women save since they would otherwise have to stop working for a period of time to physically transport their money themselves. Women use their extra money and time to expand their businesses and profits, most often by processing more fish to sell or, for the most audacious, constructing their own fishing boats.
White emphasises the case of a college-educated women, very involved in her community. Using M-Pesa allowed this woman to have more free time to attend different meetings and trainings, from which she gained knowledge on issues like maternal health and business strategies to share with her community. 81% of White’s interviewees said that the use of M-Pesa makes women more independent; they no longer have to rely on others for money."

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