Main Article Content
Financial inclusion is a key to economic development and has continually gained increased attention across countries, particularly in developing countries where there is relatively high rate of financial exclusion. In Nigeria, despite several measures taken to promote financial inclusion, there is still high rate of financial exclusion among rural women, as rural people and women are generally more financially excluded. This article provides an overview of financial inclusion, analysis of the patterns and dynamics of financial inclusion in Nigeria and the pathway for promoting financial inclusion among rural women is discussed. The article posits informal savings groups as a potential pathway to financial inclusion among rural women, by reviewing journal articles and grey literatures. The review shows that most rural women are participating in informal saving groups, but these saving groups are however faced with some challenges, such as limited income base, inability to receive remittance and vulnerability to theft. The pathway to financial inclusion among rural women discussed include, sensitizing these rural women through financial literacy, thereafter fostering informal saving groups which most rural women are already aware of their operations and thirdly, linking these groups to formal financial institutions. We conclude that informal saving groups have great potentials of accelerating financial inclusion among rural women, therefore Government should carry out financial literacy campaigns among rural women and policies that promote financial inclusion should be designed building on informal saving groups.
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