FinEquity Guide

FinEquity Knowledge Guide: Gender Data and Analysis

FinEquity Knowledge Guide: Gender Data and Analysis

Findex data shows that the financial services gender gap in emerging markets is at 6% down from 9%. However, this does not sufficiently reflect the situation in many countries where women are still not given the same opportunity as men to participate in, and benefit from, economic growth. 

Despite having better loan repayment rates and being more loyal customers, women apply for fewer loans because they are denied loans at twice the rate of men, and, when approved, receive smaller loan amounts that do not meet their needs—indicative of an environment that continues to constrain women's ability to access and use financial services. But who is being excluded? Women are not a monolith, and yet if the industry cannot measure and analyze which financial products are used, and by whom, how can products be designed appropriately for women? Furthermore, without sex-disaggregated data, how can the industry understand the impact of financial inclusion interventions on women's lives?

What is Gender Data and Analysis?

Gender data or statistics adequately reflect differences and inequalities between women and men in all areas of life. Gender data that is collected and presented by sex as a primary and overall classification reflect gender issues and are based on concepts and definitions that adequately reflect the diversity of women and men in all aspects of their lives. Gender data also considers stereotypes and social and cultural factors that could induce gender bias in the data.* Gender analysis examines how and why gender constraints, such as social norms, impact financial market systems, how these constraints affect different segments of women (and men), and how to use these insights to design better financial products for women.

What is the purpose of this guide?

Drawing on a sample of recent publications, this guide provides a starting point for understanding what data is available at global, regional, national and organizational levels, and how to analyze sex-disaggregated data to measure women’s financial inclusion and to better serve women customers. 

Who is this guide for and how can it be used?  

This guide is for financial services providers (FSPs), regulators, policymakers, donors and development partners who may, respectively, want to use gender data in the following ways:

  • Financial services providers: to collect, analyze, and share data on market size, revenue, and profit in order to determine how they develop, market, disseminate, and measure (the impact of) products and services tailored to women’s needs.
  • Regulators and policymakers: to develop, evaluate and adjust policies to make them more gender-responsive and to effectively monitor progress against targets.
  • Donors and development partners: to design, monitor, and evaluate the outcome of interventions that support women’s financial inclusion. 

This resource guide has been produced in collaboration with USAID. It will be updated with new resources periodically. For even more resources on this topic, visit FinEquity's Resource Library.

*Note: Sex most often is presented as male and female. However, initiatives such as Data2X highlight the continued evolution of data systems to represent all individuals who identify as male, female, and other gender identities.

Recommended Resources

Where to Start

In Brief: Toward Uniform Definitions for the Women’s Market

Definitions are critical to creating an enabling ecosystem for collecting and using high-quality sex-disaggregated data as a core element of closing the gender gap in financial inclusion. This brief, which is for financial institutions, DFI/IFIs, policymakers and regulators, addresses how to move toward a common set of definitions by determining what exactly needs to be defined, looking at what definitions are currently being used and by whom, and making a set of recommendations to encourage convergence. This guide is also available in Spanish.

Gender Data in Financial Inclusion

This brief makes the case for how sex-disaggregated data can support women’s financial inclusion, looking at use cases in policy and regulation, program and product design, and monitoring, and evaluation. The Annex provides a list of publicly available financial inclusion gender data sources with information on coverage, level of disaggregation, and frequency of data collection. This brief is for decision-makers, program staff, and performance monitoring and evaluation practitioners working for all types of institutions that support financial inclusion.

Guideline Note on Sex-Disaggregated Data Report Templates

The objective of this guidance note is to provide guidance to regulated financial institutions - licensed and regulated by the central bank or by any other financial regulatory and supervisory institution – related to the different elements needed to complete the periodic financial data reporting returns or reporting templates using a sex-disaggregated data approach

Tools for FSPs: Using Data and Analysis to Deconstruct the Women’s Market

A Data-Driven Path to Women’s Financial Inclusion: Insights from Financial Service Providers

This report uses examples from a range of FSPs that collect and use sex-disaggregated data effectively to close the gender gap and advance women's financial inclusion. It provides insights on the value of having granular segment-level data about women’s financial needs and how FSPs can leverage this to provide better products and services. The insights and cases presented in this report draw on discussions from a series of roundtables convened by the Women’s Financial Inclusion Data (WFID) Partnership and are complemented by additional primary and secondary research.

Deconstructing the Monolith: Segmentation of Women Clients

This webinar series features Financial Service Providers (FSP) that are using innovative ways to learn and respond to women's differentiated needs and preferences as a key to growing their market share and achieving business goals. FSPs share insights about their successes, failures, and lessons learned on how they were able to benefit from adopting a segmentation approach that involved better understanding the specific needs of different groups of women and designing products and services to better meet their needs, which ultimately translated into increased profitability and impact. 

Global Business Case Tool for Financial Services Providers

This tool helps the user develop a business case for the Women’s Market by quantifying the market opportunity and estimating an FSP’s direct financial benefits from strategically targeting the female economy.  Specifically, the tool provides strong groundwork for presenting a strong and convincing argument to senior management on integrating a Women’s Market program into an FSP’s overall strategy. The Business Case Tool combines a wealth of relevant data from respected global data sets with a model that can help FSPs estimate their own potential within the Women’s Market, laying the groundwork for a robust business case for making the female economy a strategic priority. The Excel-based tool also comes with a PDF guide to help the user understand how to best utilize the resource. 

Gender Analysis for Research, Monitoring, and Evaluation

Measuring Women’s Economic Empowerment in Financial Inclusion

This brief serves as a starting point for stakeholders interested in applying Women's Economic Empowerment (WEE) measurements to their work. Measuring Women’s Economic Empowerment in Financial Inclusion (blog) provides context and analysis of how these 11 frameworks and approaches define WEE, the various aspects of WEE that are important to measure, as well as measurement challenges.

Integrating Gender in Research Planning

This guide is for researchers who want to incorporate a gender analysis into their research planning. It starts with a scale and checklist to evaluate how integrated gender is in research and steps for how to improve gender integration. It also includes a useful list of dos and don'ts and additional resources.  Available in English, Spanish, French and Arabic.

A Practical Guide to Measuring Women’s and Girls’ Empowerment in Impact Evaluations

This guide for policymakers, researchers, and practitioners offers tips for overcoming challenges in impact evaluations. It does not provide ready-to-go survey instruments but rather outlines a process for developing indicators along with examples. Appendix 1: examples of WEE survey questions used in previous impact evaluations. Appendix 2: examples of non-survey instruments to measure WEE.

How to Sex-Disaggregate Data: Training Resources

Gender Statistics Training Curriculum

This course, consisting of 11 modules, guides trainers on how to conduct gender statistics training. The materials in each module (syllabus, PPT, exercises, tests, resources) can also be used by individual learners interested in gender data and how to use it. Depending on the subject matter, modules target experts, non-experts, or both. Modules build on each other but can also be used stand-alone. Each module lists the target audience, and how to use the information, and recommends prerequisite modules or knowledge needed for the module. 

Who is this course for and how to use it: 

  • Statisticians to understand what gender statistics are and how these can be integrated across different areas of statistics
  • Policymakers and decision-makers to enhance their use of gender data for evidence-based decision-making.
  • Academicians to inform their research through the use of gender data.
  • Civil Society organizations to enhance their use of gender data for advocacy or communication purposes.
  • Media personnel to integrate gender data into their media products.


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25 July 2022

Très pertinent

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