Evidence has shown that savings groups transform the interactions between women and their communities, as well as help promote gender transformation, as women with increased skills and confidence work collectively to address individual, household and community needs. Savings groups also transform social norms and influence government policies. Key findings of the Women on the Move Annual Report 2019 include:
- Women are creating networks and federations of savings groups to address women’s rights: women use savings groups as a springboard to advance other issues of gender equality in their communities. The collective voice of women has expanded women’s access to land, inputs, market information, formal markets, education for their children, and more.
- National governments are adopting the savings group model: the adoption of the savings group model into their national policies and strategies by three governments in the region (Côte d’Ivoire, Niger, Ghana) represents a breakthrough that creates opportunities for multiplying impact, potentially reaching nearly 3.5 million people.
- More women are joining savings groups: this year 155,894 new members have joined savings groups, 84% of whom are women. Since 2017, the number of CARE-supported women members in West Africa has nearly doubled from 1,029,000 to 1,930,000 in 2019, many of these via self-replication.
- More young people are being engaged: in 2019, 93,409 members of the savings groups set up by CARE in West Africa were young, representing almost one-quarter of all new members. This will help advance the socio-cultural transformation of communities.