Photo credit: Gender equality/iStock
2019-03-05

How the AFI network is mainstreaming gender & women’s financial inclusion in the global policy agenda

Did you know that almost one billion women are still excluded from the formal financial system despite progress towards financial inclusion? The gender gap in access to bank accounts remains at a stubborn 7 percent globally, and at 9 percent in developing countries and emerging economies. The gap is larger still when it comes to active usage of accounts.

To address this challenge, AFI members are committed to implementing the Denarau Action Plan (DAP) to increase women’s access to quality and affordable financial services globally — contributing to Goal 5: Gender Equality of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

In conjunction with International Women’s Day on 8 March, 2019, AFI is publishing a series of blog posts throughout the week including contributions from our donors and private sector partners. Through our blog series, you’ll learn:

  • how AFI members, with guidance developed in the network’s member-led working groups, are developing and implementing tangible policy actions to spearhead women’s financial inclusion;
  • how innovative technology can help advance women’s financial inclusion in developed and developing countries;
  • why AFI’s partners are prioritizing gender and women’s economic empowerment;

Start by exploring these four knowledge products that showcase the progress the AFI network is making in mainstreaming gender and women’s financial inclusion in the global policy agenda.

1. Bridging the Gender Gap: Promoting Women’s Financial Inclusion

Dive into a hand-picked collection of essential case studies, guideline notes and reports previously published by the AFI network on promoting women’s financial inclusion. From leveraging on sex-disaggregated data and developing policy frameworks, to how Tanzania narrowed the financial inclusion gender gap — these are the tools and guidance you need to read.

2. Gender Considerations in Balancing Financial Inclusion and AML/CFT

Developed in collaboration with the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) SHIFT, this guideline note highlights how AFI members are taking gender into account when balancing AML/CFT and financial inclusion policy initiatives. Could national biometric identification systems remove some of the barriers to identification and verification for women? Find out more about integrating gender in the ML/TF risk assessment process.

3. Case Study: Expanding women’s financial inclusion in Bangladesh

Did you know that Bangladesh Bank has allocated at least 15 percent of its MSME refinance funding to women entrepreneurs? In recognition of the importance of women’s participation in business for economic development, the Government of Bangladesh has crafted national policies aimed at improving financial inclusion for women. Discover more in the case study.

4. Survey Report: SME finance policies for MSMEs owned by women and women entrepreneurs

In recognition of the importance of women’s participation in business for economic development, and in keeping with a constitutional commitment to economic opportunity and inclusion, the Government of Bangladesh has crafted national policies aimed at improving financial inclusion for women. Explore more in the survey report.

This International Women’s Day, join us in embracing innovative ways to advance gender equality and women’s economic empowerment. Coming up next, leveraging on sex-disaggregated data to advance women’s financial inclusion. Stay tuned for more insights this week!

 

The Gender and Women's Financial Inclusion workstream is primarily supported by the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida). Over the next four years, with the support of Sida, AFI members will be working to halve the gender gap in their respective jurisdictions by 2021. Learn more about the AFI-Sida partnership.