Fruit seller in Fiji / shutterstock
2020-09-11

AGM strengthens AFI’s diversity & women’s representation

AFI further strengthened its commitment to champion diversity and gender inclusive finance in the network by enhancing women representation in the AFI Board of Directors and accepting the nomination of seven new members of its Gender Inclusive Finance Committee (GIFC).

AFI members unanimously endorsed an amendment to AFI’s Articles of Association that require at least three women on its nine-member board. The endorsed amendment took place during AFI’s 5th Annual General Meeting (AGM), held virtually for the first time on 9 September 2020, and will be applicable in the next round of board nominations.

According to AFI’s Deputy Executive Director Norbert Mumba, “the Denarau Action Plan (DAP) calls upon AFI as an organization to be alive and conscious of not only in bridging the gender gap, but also enhancing capacity and representation of women within the network.”

“This is important as the DAP aims to accelerating the progress of women’s financial inclusion by halving the financial inclusion gender gap across the AFI network jurisdictions by 2021,” added Dr. Alfred Hannig, AFI Executive Director. Dr. Hannig expressed concern that the financial inclusion gender gap has remained unchanged at nine percent since 2011, despite overall progress towards financial inclusion.

Dr. Hannig also highlighted that COVID-19 presents the network with an opportunity to build back better and accelerate progress. To facilitate policymakers in ensuring that their mitigation and recovery activities response to the pandemic contribute towards the DAP, AFI today published a special report on why the economic response to COVID-19 needs to be financially inclusive and gender-sensitive.

In addition, the AFI Network also accepted the nominations of seven new members of the GIFC at the AGM. The seven new members of the committee are:

The AFI Network conveys its heartfelt appreciation to the outgoing GIFC which served from 2017:

The GIFC provides leadership in advancing and promoting women’s financial inclusion within the network and oversees overarching gender policy development within AFI in accordance with the DAP. The committee also provides advisory to Gender Focal Points (GFPs) embedded within AFI working groups.

All AFI working groups had institutionalized the role of GFPs in April this year, by unanimously adopting a revision of their respective working group charters.

Speaking at the AFI working group convergence on 8 September, Noor Liza from Bank Negara Malaysia said that Gender Focal Points have the responsibility to ensure that a gender lens is incorporated into all AFI discussions and deliverables.

The Denarau Action Plan (DAP) contributes to women’s economic empowerment and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) specifically Goal 5 — Gender Equality.

AFI’s Gender Inclusive Finance workstream is partially financed by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and other partners.