What can be done to provide better products and more access to financial services to women in the global south?
One silver lining of the COVID-19 pandemic is many more women have bank accounts than before. Around 250 million women in the global south opened a financial account for the first time to receive government assistance, according to analysis by the Women’s World Banking’s 2021 Global Findex Database. Also for the first time, the gender gap in account ownership across developing economies fell. But data is also showing that many of these women are not retaining these accounts. What can be done to ensure these newly banked women remain in the financial system?
On a special bonus episode of the Hidden Economics of Remarkable Women, we first hear from a member of the Self Employed Women’s Association, a union of millions of female informal workers in India. They have drastically increased women’s digital financial inclusion since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
Then, we share a conversation that first took place at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Foreign Policy editor in chief Ravi Agrawal sat down with global leaders committed to keeping newly banked women in the financial system. Agrawal first chats with Mary Ellen Iskenderian, president and CEO of Women’s World Banking, and Mark Suzman, CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (which is also one of this podcast’s funders). Then, Agrawal has an insightful discussion with Diane Karusisi, CEO of the Bank of Kigali, and Abubakar Suleiman, managing director and CEO of Sterling Bank. They share how they are changing their approach to banking to reach more women in Africa.
*Audio will be available March 8th at 12pm ET
About The Hidden Economics of Remarkable Women (HERO):
Could empowering women in the workplace be the simplest way to boost the global economy? Host Reena Ninan talks to women around the world changing the status quo in surprising ways to improve their lives, their families, and ultimately, the world. The Hidden Economics of Remarkable Women (HER♀) is a Foreign Policy podcast supported in part by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
HER♀ listeners can learn more about these topics by signing up for special access to an FP Analytics policy brief on gender equality. Sign up by clicking here.
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