Strategies for Women’s Financial Inclusion in the Commonwealth
According to Global Findex Data (World Bank, 2011), 47% of women and 55% of men worldwide have an account at a formal financial institution, whether a bank, credit union, co-operative, post office or microfinance institution. The gender gap varies widely across economies and regions. Among the regions, South Asia and the Middle East and North Africa have the largest gender gaps, with women about 40% less likely than men to have a formal account. Among Commonwealth countries, the gender gap (with women being less likely to have accounts than men) was the highest for India, Pakistan, Trinidad and Tobago, Mauritius, and Uganda.
This discussion paper provides an overview of key issues on financial inclusion, particularly women’s access to financial products and services. It introduces a range of practical, tried and tested approaches to promoting women’s financial inclusion from a range of Commonwealth countries and a variety of financial stakeholders.