Empowering Women Domestic Workers: Qualitative Investigation on the Impact of DFS on Women’s Economic Empowerment in Nigeria


Despite their immense economic contributions, labourers in the informal economic sector, especially female domestic workers, face significant economic vulnerabilities. There are approximately 10 million female domestic workers in Africa, many of whom lack the formal identification required to open a personal bank account to manage and track their wages.[1] Digital financial services (DFS), such as mobile banking, connect the previously unbanked to financial services. Access to DFS holds the potential to economically empower women and imbue them with greater confidence to advocate for themselves at work. However, little research has been conducted on the use of DFS by female domestic workers.


This study seeks to understand the relationship between the use of DFS and the lived experiences of female domestic workers in South-West Nigeria. Through this study, the research team hopes to unpack how access to DFS through mobile phones might improve women’s economic empowerment and access to digital non-financial services. The study will be conducted using two qualitative research methods: in-depth interviews and case studies. In-depth interviews will be conducted with 40 female domestic workers across the study region. Interview questions will glean information about women’s knowledge and perceptions of DFS, as well as women’s experiences of improved economic empowerment as a result of DFS. Twenty case studies gleaned from key informant interviews, case checklists, and unstructured conversations compiling perspectives from key stakeholders such as recruitment agencies, employers, and agents will provide further context to the data collected in the in-depth interview stage.

Proposed impact:

This study will contribute to the evidence base concerning the benefits of DFS for women domestic workers and identify potential areas for improvement of DFS for women’s empowerment. Results aim to influence the development of DFS practices and programs for vulnerable female workers in low-income communities and populations. The researchers also aspire to produce a toolkit on digital finance and women’s economic empowerment to inform future projects.

[1] ILO. (2020). Ratifications of C189 – Domestic Workers Convention, 2011. Retrieved from

Photo by Daily Nigerian


Associated Institute: Lagos Business School, Pan-Atlantic University

Associated Investigators: Okechukwu Amah, Lagos Business School, Pan Atlantic University & Institute for Work and Family Integration (IWFI); Victor Kolo, IWFI; Ruqayyah Baderinwa, Christopher Kolade Centre for Research in Leadership and Ethics, Lagos Business School, Pan-Atlantic University

Country: Nigeria

Implementation Partners: IWFI

WEE-DiFine thematic areas: access to digital non-financial services, access to finance