FinEquity Blog

FinEquity's April 2021 Newsletter


April  2021

Empowering women through financial inclusion
Our April Updates

Dear FinEquity Members,

Just over a year ago as we began to grapple with the potential impacts of COVID-19 on women's financial inclusion and economic empowerment, we knew that a lot of the hard-fought progress was at stake. Over the last year, we've seen a global call to action to put women at the center of economic recovery and use this crisis as an opportunity to reshape the financial and economic systems to benefit and empower women. Many of you are actively leading and contributing to these efforts and we, at FinEquity, are privileged to collaborate with you and drive the women's financial inclusion agenda forward.

We are constantly looking to find new ways to collaborate and learn together in our quest to develop and scale gender-transformative solutions for financial inclusion. This year saw the launch of our tools workshop series and now we are excited to share our latest innovation: the FinEquity/CGAP Social Norms Diagnostic Co-lab, which is featured in this newsletter. You, as members, champions, and contributors are what keep this community thriving, so we want to hear from you and invite you to join us for Tea (or coffee or a beverage of your choice) with FinEquity on April 14th. You are always welcome to reach out to us directly as well. 

Thank you for your continued engagement and support! 

Nisha and the FinEquity team.

A Collaborative Effort to Diagnose the Effect of Social Norms on Women's Financial Inclusion
In March 2021, CGAP and FinEquity launched a peer-learning program called “Social Norms Diagnostic Co-Lab” to understand how social norms affect women’s financial inclusion in specific contexts as well as to identify opportunities to design gender-transformative solutions that advance women’s financial inclusion and economic empowerment. The Co-Lab methodology works with small groups of peer organizations and combines on-the-ground research with intensive facilitated learning processes, which will allow them to learn from each other’s experience as well as solve any challenges with input from their peers. The Social Norms Diagnostic Co-lab activities will take place over the next nine months. 

Please visit our website to learn more.

Tea With FinEquity
Last chance to register! Join us to learn more about learning themes and network with other members of our community of practice on April 14, 2021, 8:30 - 9:30 am EDT.

In addition to sharing our plans for the upcoming months, we want to hear about your initiatives, recent publications, ongoing challenges, burning questions, and collaborations you are hoping to get off the ground.

Webinar: Empowering Women on a Journey Towards Digital Financial Capability
Making Finance Work for Women Thought Leadership Series

Wednesday, April 28, 2021, 8:00 – 9:30 am EDT. 

Women’s World Banking and FinEquity invite you to a conversation on digital financial capability and its role in building the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary for women customers to effectively engage with digital financial services.

This is the first event in the recently launched Making Finance Work for Women Thought Leadership virtual series by Women's World Banking with FinEquity as a contributing partner. 

This event will feature a discussion on how FSPs and regulators can effectively support women customers to gain the confidence and skills to participate fully in the rapidly digitizing formal financial sector.
Speakers Include:
Marina Dimova, Managing Director of Design and Innovation
Women’s World Banking

Julia Arnold, Senior Research Director, Women's Financial Inclusion
Center for Financial Inclusion

Samit Ghosh, Founder
Ujjivan Financial Services Ltd

Catherine Highet, Digitally-Enabled Financial Inclusion Thematic Lead

Eva Johansson, Lead Policy Advisor for Gender Equality

Click here to register.
Guest Blog: Women's Groups and Resilience
Understanding How the Psychosocial Elements of Women's Groups Contribute to Building Resilience
Despite the mainstream inclusion of resilience in the international development and humanitarian assistance sectors, there is still much we do not understand about the linkages between psychosocial factors, like social capital, and women’s empowerment, and resilience. A new evidence review, jointly written by The Share Trust and Mercy Corps and published by the Resilience, Evaluation, Analysis and Learning (REAL) Award, synthesized what is known about the way psychosocial factors build resilience through the lens of self-help groups (SHGs), a type of women’s group.
To learn more read our guest blog and join FinEquity and the REAL Award for an interactive learning event on May 11, 2021. 

Upcoming Events and Opportunities
Job Opportunity - Gender & Business Research Coordinator 

Value for Women is a global social enterprise focused on helping others go from intention to action on gender and social inclusion, in the context of business, entrepreneurship, agriculture, sustainable energy, impact investment, and lending. We are looking for an individual to lead the design and implementation of research and evaluation activities across multiple projects, with experience in MEL as well as management in data aggregation, analysis, and interpretation across projects and geographies, with the ability to implement innovative data collection methods (both qualitative and quantitative). Click here for more details. 

Job Opportunity - Research Specialist (Quantitative)

This position leads Women’s World Banking global work on three broad work streams. These workstreams include 1) outcomes research including impact evaluations to rigorously assess the effect of new financial services and products on women’s security and prosperity; 2) survey research (large and small sample) on various topics related to women’s financial inclusion; and 3) quantitative analysis on financial partners’ administrative data to understand female customers’ behaviors and needs. Learn more here.

Job Opportunity - Research Specialist (Qualitative):

This position leads the methodology development, execution, and synthesis of customer-centric qualitative research as part of our cross-country market research. This will also be a position that will serve qualitative research needs across Women’s World Banking’s Latin America portfolio. The position’s efforts will help us better understand women customers – their needs, wants, and barriers to using formal financial services – across markers, geographies, and customer segments in order to further establish Women’s World Banking as a thought leader in understanding low-income women customers. Visit the website for more details. 

Request for Proposals: Apply now for up to $50,000 for research on WEE & DFS

Women’s Economic Empowerment and Digital Finance (WEE-DiFine) is an exciting research initiative, led by the BRAC Institute for Governance and Development (BIGD), committed to generating a comprehensive body of evidence around the impact of digital financial services (DFS) on women’s economic empowerment (WEE) across South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. This call is dedicated to funding pilot, qualitative and measurement studies, with small grants up to $50,000 available per category. Apply now! The deadline is May 31, 2021.
What We Are Reading
Fintech in the Arab World: Toward Gender Parity in 15, Not 150, Years

Gender inequality is a constant reminder of the work to be done in the Arab World. The World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Global Gender Gap Report 2020, which tracks gender parity in health, education, the economy and politics, ranks the region as having the world’s largest gender gap. According to the report, it would take 150 years for the region to achieve gender parity at its current rate of progress. CGAP’s research on fintech in the Arab World reveals how gender inequality is playing out in the region’s nascent fintech space.

The COVID-19 pandemic is proving to be a decelerator for women’s rights and gender equality globally, but it doesn’t have to be. If fintech solutions in the Arab World receive the support they need to grow, and if more fintechs start designing gender-intelligent services, then the region will be able to leverage its full potential to advance financial inclusion for all, women and men alike.

Visit CGAP's website to read more. 

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