Savings can be a powerful tool for poor women to escape poverty. But low-income women often are unaware of formal savings methods and their advantages. And women feel the need to secretly manage their finances because of gender power imbalances over the control of household income.
Can a television drama encourage low-income women to establish sound savings habits with formal financial institutions? ICRW is working with a consortium of partners in the Dominican Republic, including Women’s World Banking and Puntos de Encuentro, to launch and evaluate an innovative mass media campaign to improve perceptions about formal saving mechanisms and to encourage open dialogue between women and men about their financial habits. The project’s centerpiece is a 20-episode telenovela that will focus on the financial behaviors of couples and how they work toward more cooperative financial management. The television program will be complemented by an advertising campaign for specific savings products geared toward low-income women.
ICRW will conduct a rigorous evaluation of the program, measuring women’s awareness and opinions of formal saving methods and whether men and women discuss household finances before, during and after the campaign in order to determine what changes the program has caused.