Three-day AFI training unleash creative thinking to effectively communicate gender & women’s financial inclusion

Designing and delivering communication plans, messages and products that build greater awareness, and support for the Denarau Action Plan (DAP) and AFI’s initiatives on Women’s Financial Inclusion are main features of the three-day member training on Communicating Gender and Women’s Financial Inclusion, held in Kuala Lumpur from 23 – 25 May, 2018.

The first of its kind under AFI’s Capacity Building platform, this interactive member training is designed for staff from the Communications Department from AFI member institutions represented by the Gender and Women’s Financial Inclusion Committee (GWFIC) and selected AFI member institutions, ensuring regional representation and balance.

Facilitated by lead trainer Michael Oke from Aura Financial, the highly-engaging training explores creative approaches, methods, tools and even storytelling to identify stakeholders, craft key messages, and develop products that effectively communicate gender and women’s financial inclusion.

Initial breakout sessions reveal that participants share common challenges in communicating gender and women’s financial inclusion such as insufficient resources to reach more people in rural areas. During the training, participants will review a draft toolkit designed to support the development of a communications programme for gender and women’s financial inclusion.

The first day of the training kicked off with a presentation from Mae Tan Siew Mann, the Project Manager of Gender Mainstreaming at UNDP Malaysia. She discussed the perception of gender concepts including gender equality, its importance in advancing financial inclusion, and influence on decisions and policies. She emphasized that when women have unrestricted access to financial services, they are empowered to make informed decisions in the best interests of their families.

“Gender equality is intrinsically linked to sustainable development and is vital to the realization of human rights for all. The overall objective of gender equality is a society in which women and men enjoy the same opportunities, rights and obligations in all spheres of life.”

– United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Meanwhile, Liza Mohammad Noor, Manager in Development Finance & Enterprise at Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) conveyed that “data shows that greater gender diversity in the workplace can lead to better performance, increased productivity and innovation.” During her presentation, she highlighted that Maya Declaration commitments have increased steadily since the adoption of the DAP at the 2016 AFI Global Policy Forum (GPF).

At the end of the training, participants will develop the skills to build a comprehensive, integrated annual communications plan for their institution that will include a stakeholder map, plan of activities and budget, adoption of visibility tools and reporting metrics.