February 23, 2024

Financial experts have lamented the exclusion women face when it comes to accessing financial resources for their businesses in ensuring improved quality of life. The experts observed this at a recent programme attended by the World Bank, the Women’s Financial Inclusion Data Partnership, Consumer-Centric and Data 2X. According to Leora Klapper from the World Bank, “Women are marginalised financially by traditional banks when it comes to access to financial services and products – mostly because they lack access to title deeds and ownership of property as well as unrealistic interest rates. “They are less likely to own bank accounts and less likely to be offered loans even though the upkeep of the home and family is usually on their shoulders.” The World Bank reports that “Globally, there is a gender gap in financial inclusion. Women are seven percentage points less likely than men to have a bank account. “Even when women have an account, they frequently have difficulty obtaining a loan for their business or other purposes, and are very likely to be underbanked. “Women are also more likely to be dissatisfied with banking services worldwide.” For women-owned micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises in emerging economies alone, there is an estimated US$1.7 trillion finance gap.” On her part, an expert at gender and social development at Data 2x, Mayra Buvinic, stressed the need for data in addressing the challenges, adding that “Data is everything when it comes to increasing women’s access to financial resources, data is important in increasing funding for the women and also using gender data to drive smarter and more equitable policies.” She noted that with this, “the World Bank of developing countries will be able to use this information to create policies and initiatives that can grant women more access to financial services.” CEO of the Financial Alliance for Women, Inez Murray said, “Providing women with access to financial resources will lead to improved quality of life in these countries as they would use the money to send their children to school, take care of their health and provide adequate nutrition.”

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