Gateway Guide to Gender and Women's Empowerment

Date Published: 
Oct 2016

This month, explore the Gateway's resources on women's financial inclusion.

Women farmers in Senegal. Photo by Daniella Van Leggelo-Padilla, 2015 CGAP Photo Contest.While progress has been made in reducing the gender gap, the global average for women's annual earnings is still only about half that of men's, despite the fact that women work longer hours when unpaid work is taken into account. Around the world, women's access to land and other assets continues to be restricted by law or custom, particularly in developing countries. Approximately 33% of married women in developing countries have no control over household spending on major purchases, and 10% are not consulted on how their own income is spent.

Global Findex data shows that 1.1 billion women worldwide remain largely outside the financial system, and a higher fraction of men report having a bank account than women. Although the gender gap is universal, it is more pronounced in developing countries.

Many microfinance institutions explicitly target women, because they believe - and studies show - that improving access to financial services helps women to achieve economic freedom to make better choices for themselves and for their families. 

This Gateway Guide presents the most recent noteworthy publications in the Microfinance Gateway Library focused on women's financial inclusion. Our Topic page on Gender and Women's Empowerment is the best way to stay up to date with the latest materials the Microfinance Gateway has to offer on the subject. Be sure to check back frequently, or create an email alert to receive notifications when new content is added. Also, consider submitting your own content.

Guides and toolkits on developing products and policies for women

1. Individual Lending for Low-Income Women Entrepreneurs: An Inclusive Approach
A how-to framework for developing products for women in emerging markets
Oct 2015, Women's World Banking

2. Eight Tips for Successfully Marketing to Women
Sharing strategies for marketing financial products to women clients
Mar 2015, Women's World Banking

3. Women in Agriculture: A Toolkit for Mobile Money Practitioners
Developing mobile-enabled services for women engaged in agriculture
May 2014, GSMA

4. Gender Toolkit: Micro, Small, and Medium-Sized Enterprise Finance and Development
Framework to better conceptualize and design gender-sensitive policy and programs in the MSME sector
Jan 2014, Asian Development Bank (ADB)

Focus on Policy

1. Policy Frameworks to Support Women's Financial Inclusion
Examples of promising policy solutions to help close the gender gap in financial inclusion
Mar 2016, Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI), Women's World Banking

Focus on Digital Financial Services for Women

1. Digital Financial Solutions to Advance Women’s Economic Participation
How various actors can bring more women into the global economy through digital financial services
Nov 2015, Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion (GPFI)

2. Digital Savings: The Key to Women’s Financial Inclusion?
Research and emerging best practices in digital savings for women
Sep 2015, Women's World Banking
Regional Focus on Sub-Saharan Africa

1. Gender and Financial Inclusion: Analysis of Financial Inclusion of Women in the SADC Region
Cross-country comparisons of access to affordable financial services for women
Aug 2016, FinMark Trust

2. Tanzania Narrows the Financial Inclusion Gender Gap: A Case Study of Policy Change to Support Women’s Financial Inclusion
Understanding the country-specific challenges in advancing women's financial inclusion
May 2016, Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI), Women's World Banking

3. Nigeria Confronts a Challenging Financial Inclusion Gender Gap: A Case Study of Policy Change to Support Women's Financial Inclusion
Looking at hurdles and opportunities in promoting women's financial inclusion
May 2016, Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI), Women's World Banking