Gender disparities in financial resilience: insights from South Africa

Bomikazi Zeka, Abdul Latif Alhassan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


While the extant literature has explored issues related to the access, usage and availability of financial services, the ability of households to withstand financial adversities, particularly those living under economically vulnerable conditions, requires further attention. The paper presents a gendered analysis of financial resilience behaviour in South Africa.

Using a nationally representative sample of 4,880 households, this paper constructs a financial resilience behaviour index (FRBI) covering savings, credit, insurance, and retirement planning behaviours. The gendered effect of demographic characteristics on financial resilience is examined using the ordinary least square and seemingly unrelated regression techniques.

The results show that low levels of financial resilience were present across the sample with insurance observed to be the greatest driver of financial resilience, followed by retirement planning, savings and credit respectively. Furthermore, the analysis highlights that a gender gap in financial resilience exists as men are characterized with higher financial resilience behaviour compared to women. The results also suggest that employed women and women with higher levels of education are associated with greater financial resilience.

Practical implications
Based on these results, improving access to higher education and employment opportunities for women will enhance their financial resilience and contribute towards addressing SDG (5) on gender equality.

As far as the authors are aware, this paper presents the first empirical analysis of the gender gaps in socio-demographic characteristics that explain financial resilience in South Africa.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Bank Marketing
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jul 2023


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