Women in Financial Inclusion: In a recent study, it was discovered that half of the world’s population lags behind in accessing and using financial products and services. While significant advances in financial inclusion for both men and women occurred between 2011 and 2013, the gender gap still persists. Women and girls make up a little over half of the world’s population. The contribution of the female gender to measured economic activity, growth, and well-being is far below its potential. This has significant socio-economic consequences.
A little over half of the world’s population is female. The contribution of the female gender to measured economic activity, growth, and well-being is far below its potential. This has significant socio-economic consequences.
Women & Financial Freedom
The simple meaning of “Finclusion” is provisioning, providing, and making affordable financial services available for every human being. Finclusion should be made a basic human right. Sounds very easy, right! but sadly, it is not the truth!
The question that keeps bothering me is “Can rising innovations in mobile money help to close the financial gender gap?”. Can it help women in particular, who are more vulnerable to increased financial burdens? When sick-minded men abandon their responsibilities of providing basic needs for their families. It’s women who come up and act as breadwinners.
The problem is compounded by largely closed-minded, oppressive societies that bar women from owning land or properties or even allowing them to save for their future and their children, etc. The question stands: where do these people go to claim their basic rights that have been left behind by communities, segments, and formal financial institutions?
Lost battle – no gender balance in Finclusion
Our main issue is the ability to drive “Gender inclusion” through Finclusion. This can come under the ownership of savings, land or even micro insurance such as funeral, education and medical services. This is where women in African homes play a very important role. By allowing women access to financial services and to benefit fully from economic opportunities; it make huge difference.
The confidence placed in by Finclusion providers and users alike is a powerful driver for the business. Mobile Money essentially was meant for financial inclusion or simply called as Finclusion. The value proposition of women’s financial inclusion with clear objectives and quantitative targets can lead to transparent inclusive policies for women. This can greatly impact the advancement of financial inclusion for women and in turn help accelerate the progress of national strategies.
With the different platforms and competencies that exists within FinTech. These platform has the ability of blending data together is helpful. Our main question “Will rising innovations in mobile money domain help to close the financial gender gap” is yet to be answered.
Some differences in African mind sets
Nigeria & South Africa is better in terms of women getting rights on what they deserve than DRC or Kenya different.
This phenomena can be compared with almost all advertisement depicting a clock standing still in one place such as ten minutes past to ten as its most appealing to human minds. Giving best and large enough space for advertisements to be displayed clearly if forty minutes past four is chosen will also give the same scope but does not appeal well.
So the requirement is what are the needs of today, not a backward mindset. Financial inclusion simply defined as “Ensuring access to basic banking services (Provided by any bank’s banking services or MNO’s banking i.e. mobile money services)”. The definition continues, that it is also expected from Finclusion Service Providers. This is to ensure that consumers have a legal right to access basic financial service. This should comply with minimum performance standards and treat customers fairly through functionality, charges, transparency and compliance.
Areas of challenges i.e. opportunity for correction
What are the challenges for bringing the quality of life for women with help of Finclusion? Clearly a huge investment. Investment required by NGO’s or non profit foundations on educating the societies to correct mindset and educating the individuals to adopt financial services specifically women.
While significant progress has been made in terms of facilitating greater access to and use of financial services among previously underserved populations, barriers to financial inclusion remain. A gender-gap polarized environment impacts on performance due to denial of services to women, although there has been a large female youth segment have demonstrated an increased appetite towards new products and services in line with global trends.
Support for this novel cause
Financial institutions who are making constant efforts to ensure that they provide financial service to everyone at an affordable rate and with minimal KYC needs and has the support from government, NGO’s, foundations and regulators. Money transfers, payments, international remittances, savings, micro credit and micro insurance services (Medical, Funeral & Education) should be at the top of the priority list on all developing countries government agenda’s.
Financial services have the ability to provide access to micro credit, micro insurance, cross border remittances, as well as education on savings, which explains clear benefits such as financial inclusion and ripple advantages such as access to clean drinking water, clean toilets, education, medical services, funeral services and energy services.
The enthusiastic demand for financial services can be driven in a northward direction with great speed to push the boundaries of inclusion ever further, provided education of the same is delivered with the same speed.
The key stakeholders, which include financial service providers, regulatory bodies, policymakers, civil society entities, and consumers, explore how best to engage prospective women customers in ways that meet the needs of both consumers and providers situated within different market contexts.
Financial inclusion is important for improving the living conditions of underprivileged farmers, especially female farmers.
Financial inclusion is important for improving the living conditions of underprivileged farmers, especially female farmers. Small business owners (tuck shops) and other vulnerable groups are also included. Financial exclusion, in terms of lack of access to credit from formal institutions, is high for small and marginal farmers and some social groups.
Apart from formal banking institutions, which should look at inclusion both as a business opportunity and as a social responsibility, the role of the self-help group movement and microfinance institutions is important to improving financial inclusion. This requires new regulatory procedures and politicization of the financial system, though Kenya is ahead of this particular game.
Bank and Banking Style
Banks need to think about collaboration rather than competition. Investments by banks, fintechs, and crowd funders help financial segments and sectors put the disruption at risk.
Even though the gender gap is huge, it is rarely explicitly on the agenda in African countries policy spheres. There is room for much greater focus on women’s financial inclusion on a whole range of policy issues. Policymakers need to avail themselves of data, quantitative and qualitative surveys, and further research to understand the market being served and the constraints, and thereby inform policy.
Conclusion:The Dalai Lama noted, “It’s been proven and shown that even infants who are too young to talk can distinguish between illustrations of harmful and helpful behavior and respond positively to help and negatively to harm. They conclude that basic human nature is compassionate. And this gives us hope”. Equal access to and control over economic resources by men and women is a necessary condition for achieving gender equality.
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