InPrint: Integrating Gender and Women’s Financial Inclusion into National Strategies

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In Print: Integrating Gender and Women’s Financial Inclusion into National Strategies

Publisher: Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI)

Date of Publication: February 2017

Reacting to the persistently widening gap in women’s financial inclusion across developing countries, members of the Financial Inclusion Strategy (FIS) Peer Learning Group of the AFI developed this guide note. It delivers on AFI’s commitment to promoting the creation of an enabling environment for accelerating women’s financial inclusion, in order to increase the number of women with access to quality and affordable financial services globally. This is in a bid to contribute to the attainment of the UN Sustainable Development Goal Five (SDG5): to achieve gender equality and empowerment of all women and girls.

The guide begins with a highlight of major constraints facing financial inclusion for women such as: financial literacy, collateral requirements, and the socio-cultural environment but, ranks financial literacy as the most challenging factor. It however submits that all these barriers can be addressed and surmounted through policymaking and the formulation and implementation of National Financial Inclusion Strategies (NFIS).

The country-specific case studies cited describe the key elements of the four phases of a NFIS, showing how countries like Mexico, Bhutan, Zimbabwe, Solomon Islands, Mozambique, Zambia, amongst others, have integrated and prioritised gender equality and women’s empowerment issues, including financial inclusion, within their National Development Strategies and Bank strategies as the case may be.

These cases provide insight and clarity on the process of incorporating women’s financial inclusion into NFIS, which is an essential composition of any credible guideline note.

The note is therefore a call on national governments, especially of developing nations, to \ integrate women’s financial inclusion into their national strategies. It also serves as a comprehensive toolkit for application by policymakers and regulators engaged in the development and implementation of strategies for financial inclusion.

 

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