Recognizing that a better understanding of the savings patterns and potential of adolescent girls and young women is an essential prerequisite for shaping the design of appropriate savings options and services for this group, SEWA, a leading micro-credit nongovernmental organization in India, in partnership with the Population Council, conducted research among adolescent girls and young women who held accounts in one or more of SEWA’s savings schemes. The study aimed to assess their access to money, their savings and spending behaviors, their experiences as holders of savings accounts, and their preferences with regard to savings products for the young. Findings suggest that young females are interested in savings and have access to money but remain uninformed about available savings options, and exercise limited decisionmaking authority or control over economic resources, including their own accounts. The study notes that there is considerable potential and an unmet need for providing meaningful savings options for adolescent girls and young women. Financial literacy programs are needed that apprise young females about savings options available to them, the processes and mechanisms implied in opening and operating savings accounts, and the facilities associated with the ownership of a savings account in terms of credit options.
Kalyanwala, Shveta and Jennefer Sebstad. 2006. "Spending, saving and borrowing: Perceptions and experiences of girls in Gujarat." New Delhi: Population Council.