By AFI Communications
In conjunction with International Women’s Day (IWD) this year, we decided to do something a little different. We reached out within our network for some words of wisdom and were pleasantly surprised by all the responses we received by AFI members. In fact, we were so overwhelmed by the enthusiasm shown by our members, that we extended our IWD tribute to two whole weeks.
Our members pointed out that in this day and age, women play an indispensable role in our communities and are integral in building a strong financial system. For this reason, women’s financial inclusion must be prioritized.
Central banks are at the heart of enabling women’s financial inclusion through the Denarau Action Plan which targets to halve the financial inclusion gender gap across AFI member jurisdictions by 2021. Bridging the financial inclusion gender gap has been integrated into all levels of policy strategies and regulatory initiatives within the AFI network.
Recognizing the importance of diversity within central banks and need for strong women’s voices, AFI members are instrumental in promoting women in leadership positions. Through a number of initiatives including the Leadership and Diversity Program for Regulators conducted in collaboration with Women’s World Banking, AFI intends to develop and empower women regulators and policymakers to be gamechangers for women’s financial inclusion.
Last year, we proudly welcomed our first Gender Inclusive Ambassadors during the 2019 AFI Global Policy Forum (GPF) in Rwanda. Prioritizing the gender inclusive agenda and taking steps to promote gender equality and diversity are among the main responsibilities of these ambassadors besides acting as national, regional and global spokespersons for AFI’s Gender Inclusive Finance workstream.
Addressing the financial inclusion gender gap is a key component in realising the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and building a world where no one is left behind.
In the words of AFI Executive Director Dr. Alfred Hannig in his IWD blog, “Everyday should be women’s day, but this day is an opportunity to take stock of how far we have come in the women’s financial inclusion space and yes, there is certainly lots to celebrate.”
Happy International Women’s Day, today and everyday – from all of us at AFI.
AFI’s Gender Inclusive Finance workstream is financed by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and other partners.