Wives received more money than husbands whose spouses work abroad – Study

A survey by CBK on remittance patterns by Kenyans in diaspora shows husbands send more money to their wives in Kenya, than the reverse [Courtesy]

A 2019 survey by the Central of Kenya (CBK) on remittance patterns by Kenyans living abroad shows that husbands send more money to their wives in Kenya, than the reverse.

This could be due to traditional gender roles, or the fact that more women are married in their countries of domicile.

Kenyans in the diaspora were asked who among their relations regularly received money from them.

While five per cent of the respondents said they sent money to their wives, only one per cent said they wired money to their Kenya-based husbands.

Twenty (20) per cent of the respondents said they sent money to their mothers, making mums the participants’ most favourite relation. Eleven (11) per cent of the respondents said they often sent money to their fathers, making dads the fourth most-favourite relation after mums, sisters (15 per cent) and brothers (14 per cent).

Wife (5 per cent), female friend, nephew, aunt, niece, male friend (4 per cent), uncle (3 per cent), daughter, son, male business partner, mother-in-law and grandmother (2 per cent) rounded out the 16 most-remitted-to relations by Kenyans in the diaspora.

Father-in-law, grandfather, husband and female business partner, all with one per cent, were the other relations who the respondents said received funds from them regularly.

Very few of the sampled Kenyans in the diaspora (below one per cent) said they sent money to grandsons and granddaughters.

None of the respondents said he or she sends money to a daughter-in-law or son-in law.

“Most recipients are nuclear family members of the sender...This supports the findings that the majority of respondents were married, hence living abroad with their families," said the report.

The survey was conducted between March 19, 2021 and May 17.

It attracted 1,321 respondents and targeted Kenyans working or living abroad.

A majority of the respondents were middle-aged professionals with university education.

The survey established a relative high dependency ratio on Kenyans living in diaspora, as the remittances largely catered for basic household needs such as food, household goods, medicine and payment of education expenses.

Slightly over half a million of the remittance amounts were allocated to investment in real estate, mortgage payment and purchase of food and household goods.

The survey found the average cost of sending funds was in the range of 4 to 5 percent of the amount sent, through service providers such as banks, money transfer companies and mobile money operators.

In 2019, Kenyans in the diaspora remitted $2.8 billion (Sh285.2 billion)