Measuring Women’s Financial Inclusion: The Value of Sex-Disaggregated Data

How data could inform better policies for promoting full financial inclusion

This report argues that the full financial inclusion of women should be a key consideration for governments and regulators alike. The report presents findings based on more than 50 interviews with regulators, policymakers, international finance institution (IFI) representatives, bankers and data aggregators, exploring their perspectives on the importance and challenges of getting sex-disaggregated data on women’s access to and use of banking services, both on the supply side and the demand side. It also integrates key insights from 11 Global Banking Alliance for Women (GBA) bank members and partners who formed a Working Group to support each other’s efforts to produce and refine sex-disaggregated data so that they could improve their value propositions to women customers and employees over time.

The research concludes that a number of challenges exist at the bank, national and global levels for the widespread collection of sex-disaggregated supply-side data, such as:

  • A lack of awareness of the value or importance of sex-disaggregated data both within regulatory agencies and banks;
  • Many systems or processes are not set up to capture the data;
  • Although some data might be available, it is either not based on international standards or may be inaccurate;
  • Although some governments may be able to collect the data, it may not be used or distributed widely.

Despite the numerous challenges cited in interviews, the discussions also yielded a variety of possible solutions. The recommendations for clearing these hurdles presented in this report are centered on the need for a multi-stakeholder ecosystem approach that considers the diverse interests and roles of all involved, and most importantly, place women at the center.

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