More women workers are joining savings and credit societies at a much younger age than their male counterparts, a just released report by the Sacco Societies Regulatory Authority (Sasra) shows.
The membership of the Saccos stood at 4.9 million members including members of chamas last year.
The Sacco subsector Demographic Study Report 2019 found that within the 36- to 50-year cohort, the female gender represents 31.45 percent (514,679) of total sacco membership compared to males at 28.74 percent (833,421).
The same happens at the 25 to 35 years where the female gender is at 25.45 percent (416,489) slightly higher than the concentration of male members which stood at 22.94 percent (665,229).
“Female membership among those aged below 50 years accounted for 61.45 percent (1,005,629) of the total female membership while the concentration of male membership among those aged below 50 years was just about 60.74 percent (1,761,378) of the total male membership,” it says.
Sasra’s report also demystified the myth that Saccos were largely old people’s stable with the youth aged between 18 years to 35 years making up 30.86 percent or 1,475,482 members.
The study that looked at 174 licensed deposit-taking Saccos (DT-Saccos) in Kenya as at December 2018 also revealed an emerging culture where parents enrolled 192,274 children aged below 18 years—where 108,641 ‘savers’ were boys, 78,103 (girls)—while the gender of 5,530 underage savers was not disclosed.
DT-saccos largely drew membership from farming, teachers, government, community and the private sector.
“50 farmer-based DT-Saccos accounted for 47.81 percent of individual DT-Sacco members, 43-teachers sacco (16.32 percent), 35 were from government-aligned saccos (16.62 percent while the 25 private sector DT-Saccos took up 9.86 percent,” it said. Sasra urged DT-Saccos to formulate financial products that attract young savers as well as to retain savers aged above 65 years.