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2019-03-05

Sex-disaggregated data is key in bridging the financial inclusion gender gap

By Data2X

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. Join us in embracing innovative ways to advance gender equality and women’s economic empowerment.

If we want to improve the lives of women and girls, collecting and using gender data is a critical first step. At Data2X, we work with partners to build the case for gender data and strengthen its production and use. Our gender data partnerships on women’s work and employment and women’s financial inclusion, for example, seek to improve how we measure women’s and girls’ economic lives, so that we can accurately gauge their contributions and address constraints to their full economic participation.

Persistent gender gaps remain on women’s access to and use of financial services. Globally, women are seven percentage points less likely than men to have a bank account — a gap that has remained unchanged since 2011. While there has been improvement in global demand-side data with the World Bank’s Global Findex and other surveys, there are still challenges to collecting and using gender data on financial services, particularly supply-side data from financial services providers.

Through our Women’s Financial Inclusion Data (WFID) Partnership, we aim to resolve those challenges by advocating for sex-disaggregated financial services data and aligning data efforts to close the gender gap in financial inclusion.

AFI (a WFID partner and with the support of Data2X) has collaborated with the Central Bank of Egypt and the Bank of Zambia to build national sex-disaggregated supply-side data collection frameworks. This will help both countries paint a full picture of women’s access to and use of financial services and contribute to a scalable model for collecting, using, and disseminating national supply-side sex-disaggregated data. This model can be replicated within the AFI network and beyond.

Sex-disaggregated data from the demand- and supply-side is essential to monitor policy interventions and catalyze a market approach to financial inclusion. It is only through coordinated efforts like these that we can ensure inclusive finance and women’s economic empowerment.

 

Learn more about leveraging sex-disaggregated data to accelerate women's financial inclusion.