Factors influencing the way women access credit from financial institutions in Mathioya District, Central Province, Kenya
Karani, Cyrus M
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The study sought to establish the factors that influenced women access to credit from, financial institutions in Mathioya District of Central Kenya. The objectives of the study were to examine the influence of property ownership on women's access to fmancial institution's credit, and also establish the influence of socio-cultural factors on women's access to financial institutions' credit. The study also sought to establish the influence of information flow on the women's access to credit from fmancial institutions'. Literature reviewed revealed that there was a disparity between the expected levels of access to funds by women and what actually the case on the ground was. Purposive sampling was the method used to get the sample for study. Data was collected by use of questionnaires from fifty women obtained through simpJe random sampling. Five credit managers were also interviewed. The research revealed a shortfall between what the fmancial institutions advanced to women in credit against what their needs reflected. The requirement to offer ones property as a security against loans kept many women off the credit access. Research also found out that a majority of the women visited financial institutions very rarely. The need to have spousal consent so as to use family property was identified as another factor making the process of loan application difficult especially where the spouse was not for the idea. Most of the women also lacked basic information to do with fmancialliteracy and credit products available to them. The socio-cultural set up also was noted to have its share of influence on the way women are appraised for credit consideration. Majority of the women felt that there was an aspect of gender stereotyping which disadvantaged them in credit matters. From the findings, majority of the women responded that credit was an essential component towards their fmancial independence. Women felt that with easy access to credit, they are able to actualize their economic productivity roles as they empower themselves financially. From the findings, the study recommends that financial institutions adopt a way on how women will be appraised not necessarily subjecting them to collaterals availability only. The study also recommends continuous training of credit officers to keep them from the likely stereotype influence while evaluating their potential borrowers' abilities.