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An Exploratory Study of Digital Financial Inclusion of Muslim Women in Varanasi City
  • Zehra Tabassum,
  • Stuti Gupta,
  • Padmini Ravindra Nath
Zehra Tabassum

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Stuti Gupta
Padmini Ravindra Nath


Digital financial inclusion is a potent tool to reach the financially excluded sector of society. It is emerging as a low-cost method of delivering a range of formal financial products, tailored to the needs of the poor and excluded, at an affordable rate. This study focuses on evaluating all three aspects of digital financial inclusion, namely access, usage, and suitability from the demand side perspective. In addition, it seems intuitively clear that there are certain factors that are holding women, especially Muslim women, back from the digital financial space in spite of the mainstream view that equates ownership of an internet-connected smartphone with financial inclusion. The qualitative research design used for the study in view of the widely accepted fact that it is best suited to highlighting the voices of the women themselves. The data is being collected through semistructured, in-depth, individual interviews with women of the Muslim community above the age of eighteen who are normally residents of Varanasi City. Using theoretical sampling to ensure as wide a variation as possible in the dimension of our interest. The participants are encouraged to talk about the type of digital financial products/platforms they use, the means by which they access the digital financial space, their comfort level in using these, their awareness of the risks associated with digital transactions, their dependence on male family members (if any) in navigating these, and the barriers faced by them in the process. The qualitative data thus obtained was coded for further analysis. As the Grounded Theory approach is particularly suited to exploratory studies the researchers plan to return to the field as required. It is hoped that this study will be able to highlight the areas of concern related to a segment of the female population that is unique in its characteristics and whose voice is thus largely unheard.
26 Apr 2024Submitted to Advance
02 May 2024Published in Advance