Caught in the twilight zone: Mobile money - one solution to the multiple expectations faced by married women in Mbarara, Uganda
Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Women’s subordination in marital relations is a problematic issue causing socio-economic imbalance between spouses. These issues are found within the system of Uganda’s patriarchal society. Mobile money (m-money) is a service that entered the Ugandan market in 2009 that allows transferring and withdrawing money and paying bills with your cellphone without being connected to a formal bank. Earlier research shows positive impact of m-money use for women’s entrepreneurship in a male-privileged society. These realities render interest towards investigating how m-money effects women and if it has any impact on their self esteem in their marital relation.
The study aims to understand the effect of women’s use of m-money in a marital relation. The field study was carried out in Mbarara using interviews and observations to approach the issue. Ugandan women have a lower position within the marital relation as well as in society in general since it is the man who heads of the family. The study reveals an existing lack of trust between spouses, resulting in the exclusion of one another from their individual finances. This lack of trust becomes an impediment of mutual support within the marriage. Furthermore the study shows that women from a higher strata use m-money as a security line of income and gives leeway to meet both traditional expectations such as care taking of children and modern expectations to be employed within the formal sector. The lower strata of women who use m-money tend to protect the money from their husbands who have different priorities than their wives.
Through m-money women are given a tool allowing them to circumvent economic confrontations between the spouses and the societal hierarchal structures. The economic security creates a reality where women are less vulnerable because of their independence. The gained independence can however be deemed as a less bad alternative to dependence as it gives them a stronger foundation to manage the combination of the above-mentioned traditional and modern expectations within society.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uganda, Women empowerment, Marriage, ICT, Mobile money
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-42183OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-42183DiVA: diva2:805617
Subject / course
Peace and development
Peace and Development Programme, 180 credits
Fritz, Heiko, Fil. Dr.
Nilsson, Manuela, Fil. Dr.