Is digitizing cash transfer programs to poor women the answer to closing the gender gap?
In order to economically empower low income women by becoming financially included, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Financial Services for the Poor team has pulled together global evidence and the latest insights from across the social protection and financial inclusion fields to develop three core principles for advancing women’s financial inclusion and economic empowerment through government-to-person (G2P): digitize, direct, design (D3). We believe that by digitizing priority social protection programs, directing the payments into women’s accounts, and designing the program so that they expand women’s opportunities, G2P social protection programs can be leveraged to close the digital financial services gender gap and advance women’s economic empowerment outcomes.
These principles are critical underpinnings to the foundation’s end-to-end view of G2P digitization, from the perspective of women’s economic empowerment. Each has been elaborated as part of a diagnostic tool that can be applied at the country level. This report lays out the vision for what a D3-principle-enabled social protection program could achieve for poor women, and to outline the criteria needed to realize the vision.