21 July 2021

AFI launches gender COVID-19 policy response tracker

For the first time, financial regulators and policymakers can track national gender policy responses to COVID-19 implemented in AFI member jurisdictions, thanks to a new AFI tracker and improved dashboard.

The gender COVID-19 policy response tracker puts together regulatory responses implemented at the national level across AFI member jurisdictions.

Representing over 100 gender-sensitive policy responses as of 1 July 2021, data for the tracker is publicly sourced and provided by AFI member institutions. It is available as part of the AFI COVID-19 Policy Response Dashboard.

The launch of this tracker is timely. The Bank of Ghana’s Second Deputy Governor Elsie Addo Awadzi spoke on how the global pandemic has amplified the inequalities faced by women and threatened to reverse years of progress achieved in advancing their financial inclusion.

Awadzi, who is also chair of AFI’s Gender Inclusive Finance (GIF) Committee, welcomed the initiative and emphasized the need for financial regulators to play an active role in mitigating the growing threat of pandemic-induced financial exclusion for women.

“This tracker provides visibility on gender-sensitive policy and regulatory responses from across the AFI network and provides guidance to other countries as they explore measures to help build more resilient, inclusive and sustainable financial systems and economies post pandemic,” added the deputy governor.

Organized into four policy pillars, the tracker builds on AFI’s special report “Why the economic response to COVID-19 needs to be financially inclusive and gender sensitive” as well as findings from a 2020 GIF webinar on integrating gender considerations into COVID-19 policy solutions. micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), social protection and digital financial services.

Policy pillarsIndicator
Women and regulation
  • Institutional flexible working
  • Institutional childcare support
  • Informal employment support
  • National financial inclusion strategies or National financial education strategies
  • Regulatory interventions
Women and MSMEs
  • Guarantee schemes for MSMEs
  • Wage subsidies
  • Tax assistance
  • Refinancing assistance
  • Incubators or accelerators
  • Digitalization
Women and social protection
  • Unemployment benefits
  • Cash transfers
  • Family or child incentives
  • Targeted education interventions
  • Disability allowance
Women and digital financial services
  • Digital payments
  • Electronic Know Your Customer
  • Digital identification
  • Digitizing savings groups
  • Information and communication technologies

 

The improved dashboard allows for easy navigation across its six pages. Users can access a new directory page that summarizes information available in the dashboard as well as search and filter functions based on policy type, country and region. Data can also be displayed in either percentage or absolute value.

While the pandemic has exacerbated existing gender inequalities, financial regulators and policymakers have seized the opportunity to address these gaps through gender-sensitive and gender-transformative policies. This is also in line with the network’s commitments in the Denarau Action Plan, Kigali Statement and AFI’s Statement on Post-COVID-19 Recovery.

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


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