by Natasha Benson, Chief Executive Officer (F4ID)
As we celebrate International Women's Day, it is important to remember that while progress has been made in gender equality, we still have a long way to go. At F4ID, we are committed to advancing equity for women in the context of financial inclusion.
What does equity mean in the context of financial inclusion? Simply put, it means that women have the same opportunities and access to financial resources as men. This includes access to banking services, credit, insurance, and other financial products and services. It also means that women are able to participate in the formal economy and have a say in financial decision-making.
Unfortunately, women still face significant barriers when it comes to financial inclusion. Women are more likely to be financially excluded, meaning they lack access to formal financial services. According to the World Bank, women are 9% less likely than men to have a bank account, and the gender gap is even wider in developing countries. Women are also less likely to have access to credit, and when they do, they often face higher interest rates and more restrictive loan terms.
These disparities have real-world consequences. Financial exclusion limits women's economic opportunities, making it harder for them to start businesses, build assets, and invest in their future. It also limits their ability to save for emergencies or invest in their children's education.
At F4ID, we believe that financial inclusion is a key driver of economic growth and development, and that it is essential for promoting gender equality. That's why we work to empower women by providing them with access to financial tools.
We partner with financial institutions and other organizations to develop innovative solutions that meet the unique needs of women.
But we can't do it alone. Achieving equity in financial inclusion requires a collective effort from all stakeholders, including governments, financial institutions, civil society organizations, and individuals. We must work together to break down the barriers that prevent women from accessing financial services and promote gender-sensitive policies and practices.
This International Women's Day, let us renew our commitment to advancing equity for women in financial inclusion. Let us work together to build a more inclusive and equitable world, where every woman has the opportunity to achieve her full potential.