Guide / Toolkit

Rural Women and Financial Inclusion

Improving the gender-responsiveness of design and delivery of rural finance interventions through innovative approaches and mechanisms is important for promoting rural women’s economic empowerment. This document highlights practical and actionable approaches from the sector in order to guide the work of practitioners engaging at country level to pursue this objective. 

Part I of this Technical Guidance Note provides an overview of the main barriers and constraints that inhibit rural women’s financial inclusion. Part II offers a step-by-step approach to analysing the state of gender equality within a specific country or context, with the purpose of diagnosing potential entry points for interventions that aim to increase rural women’s financial inclusion. It then offers a summary of best practices for addressing the main barriers to rural women’s access to and use of financial services, and offers various case studies to illustrate these best practices in action. The annex contains additional guidance and tools for conducting gender-focused diagnostic assessments and analysis.

The primary audience for this guidance note are development practitioners (both FAO staff and external practitioners) who work in the field of rural finance and/or gender-related development interventions that aim to improve women’s access to and use of finance.