Woman mobile money east africa laterite
Case study

Research to overcome the mobile finance gender gap

Women in Rwanda are 20% less likely to have a mobile money account than men. Why?


Mobile money, introduced in Rwanda in 2010, has the potential to significantly enhance financial inclusion in the country. Nearly 25% of the Rwandan population uses mobile financial services.

However, there is a significant gender gap in uptake and use of mobile money. In Rwanda, women are 20 percent less likely to have a mobile money account than men.


In order to overcome this gender gap, GSMA’s Connected Women program commissioned a study to understand the barriers increased usage of mobile financial services for women.

Laterite carried out in-depth qualitative interviews with different profiles of mobile money users, both male and female, to understand factors associated with high usage and barriers to increased uptake. The study focused in particular on the gender differences in perceptions, understanding, uses and challenges relating to mobile money.

We then tested the hypotheses developed during in-depth interviews through focus group discussions with a diverse group of mobile money users.


This research outlined some of the challenges women face in subscribing to and using mobile financial services. It also identified specific barriers to target to reduce the gender imbalance.

The research is being used by GSMA to promote the greater inclusion of women in the mobile financial services industry.