A popular maxim says that men and women are intrinsically different. Arguments over who is more complex than the other continue to form conversations all over the world.
Even in micro-credit it is often said that the two genders tend to have dissimilar characteristics. Research findings however have hinted that women in general are a better credit-risk for MFIs.
A report identifying gender differences in repayment behavior across two distinct societies has confirmed that women are more likely to repay their loans compared to their male counterparts.
The study which is by Zimbabwe Women’s Microfinance Bank revealed that most loans taken are repaid back on time.
I am pleased to say the payment rate for loans is above 95% with the portfolio at risk greater than 30 days of below 5%, which is within the generally acceptable international standards,” Nyoni told Senators this week.
“Loans are still being monitored with other borrowers in their second and third cycles as per need. This is due to the fact that the bank does a through preparation with the women before they disburse.”She added: “Group loans are being monitored by group members, loan officers in each province are there to monitor whoever has been given the loans.”
According to Women’s Affairs Minister Sithembiso Nyoni, the bank which launched last year has so far processed over 50 000 accounts. Information from the bank disclosed that out of the 58 313 accounts opened, 11 692 loans having been disbursed to date.
Midlands province is leading with 6 322 loans, followed by Mashonaland West (1 184), Mashonaland Central (932), Manicaland (911), Masvingo (881), Harare (873), Mashonaland East (237), Bulawayo (202), Matabeleland South (80) and Matabeleland North province with 70 women.
The Women’s Affairs Minister notably disclosed that necessary measures are taken to avoid defaulting.
“In cases of default where the client indicates signs of delinquent character, engagements are done with clients and other relevant stakeholders to try to rehabilitate them. If all fails, other recovery methods are pursued, including litigation where the loan amounts involved are significant,” she said.
While explaining the criteria used to disburse loans, the Women Affairs Minister said they give priority to women who have shown interest in asking for loans by completing application forms.
Featured Image Courtesy: AFDB