Financial inclusion among women increases in 2021-22 

Parvathi Benu | | Updated on: Jul 01, 2022

Nadia: Women stand in a queue outside a bank to withdraw cash Rs 500 under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana, during the ongoing COVID-19 lockdown, at Santipur in Nadia district, Friday, May 22, 2020, (PTI Photo)(PTI22-05-2020_000025A) | Photo Credit: -

The rise in number of accounts operated by women is attributed to opening accounts for all the members of Self-Help Groups

Financial inclusion among women has been improving steadily over the last two decades with the number of women holding bank accounts surging, largely thanks to the Jan Dhan movement. These women are also opening bank deposit accounts, going by an SBI Ecowrap report. 

The report says that the share of women depositors in incremental deposits during financial year 2021-22 was 35 per cent, higher than the 15 per cent in FY21 and 28 per cent in FY20. 

The most noteworthy point here is their share of incremental deposits in rural banks, a mammoth 66 per cent. It is 41 per cent in semi-urban banks, 32 per cent in urban banks and 28 per cent in metropolitan banks. “The analysis based on population-group indicate that rural areas are the major source of women depositors. The share of women depositors in incremental rural deposits has increased from 37 per cent in FY20 to 66 per cent in FY22,” the report says. 

This could be the reason why their share in incremental deposits in regional rural banks is unbelievably huge, 119 per cent, while it is just one per cent in foreign banks. 

While the report does not share absolute number or value of deposits, the National Family and Health Survey 2019-21 also suggests something similar. According to the data, the number of women with bank accounts that they operate has risen from 53 per cent in 2015-16 to 78.6 per cent in 2019-21. However, only 51.2 per cent of the women said that they have money that they can decide how to use. 

Pondering on the possible cause for an increased share in deposits by women, the report says, “One of the possible reasons for enhanced traction in opening of women accounts seems to be focus on opening accounts for all the members of Self-Help Groups (as against those of President and Secretary earlier).” 

Schemes aplenty 

The SBI Ecowrap also throws light on the share of women who have benefited through various government schemes that are aimed at empowering them. 56 per cent of the currently existing Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana bank accounts belong to women. That is close to 2,500 lakh accounts. 

“Schemes like MUDRA loan, Sukanya Samriddhi, Women scholarships, Ujjawala, etc along-with PMJDY provide various financial instruments in the hands of women. It is interesting to know that women’s share is increasing in all the Government sponsored schemes,” the report says. 71 per cent of the total number of Micro Units Development & Refinance Agency Ltd (MUDRA) loans are disbursed to women. Also, 44 per cent of the beneficiaries of the Atal Pension Yojana are also women. 

Published on July 01, 2022
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