Theme 3

Women’s Financial Inclusion: Leveraging Finance to Advance Women’s Empowerment

Using ‘Big’ data to Strengthen Customer Journeys for Women, Benefiting Financial Service Providers and Regulators | May 24, 11:45 AM – 1:15 PM, Banglampoo
Chaired by UNCDF

Financial Service Providers (FSPs) capture large amounts of customer data through regular banking operations. However, they often struggle to make optimal use of it for decision making on product development, operations and market expansion. Few financial institutions conduct gendered customer journey analysis over time with regards to clients’ exit, product usage and uptake of financial services. There is an increasing need to use data to drive product and program innovation and policies for both FSPs and regulators. This session both demonstrates and dialogues on how to make more productive use of (Big) data to address ASEAN gender finance gap.

Robin Gravesteijn, UNCDF
Jonggun Lee, United Nations Global Pulse
Fajar Adiwidodo, Entrepreneurial Finance Lab
Heng Sotheavy, AMRET
Mak Reaksmy, National Bank of Cambodia

Advancing Knowledge about Women’s Financial Needs and Potentiality in Central-America | May 23, 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM PM, Room B
Chaired by Oxfam America

The workshop focuses on Oxfam’s Savings for Change savings groups as a means to empower women economically in El Salvador and Guatemala. Through the presentation of the results of a rich set of Financial Diaries data collected for a year from 107 and 111 women participating in savings groups in each country, respectively, the workshop will drill down into how these women used their savings groups to manage their money. In addition, the workshop will provide more general insights into the economic behavior of women in Latin America with additional data from studies in Ecuador and Colombia.

Sophie Romana, Oxfam America
Guy Stuart, Microfinance Opportunities

Advancing Knowledge Presentation

Evidence-Based Design for Access and Agency of Women and Girls | May 23, 2:30 PM – 4:15 PM, Banglampoo
Chaired by UNCDF

The Financial Access and Agency of Women and Girls Country Assessment Tool provides a framework to identify the access and agency context as well as constraints and opportunities for advancing the financial inclusion and economic empowerment of women and girls at a country level. It provides users with a deeper understanding of country specific issues that women and girls face when accessing and using financial and non-financial services to enhance their economic opportunities. Take a look at results from Myanmar, Tanzania and Senegal, how they are informing country-specific strategies and learn how to use and apply the tool!

Beth Porter, UNCDF
Tania Beard, Dalberg Global Development Advisors

Evidence Based Design Presentation

A Debate: Closing the DFS Gender Gap | May 24, 4:30 PM – 6:00 PM, Banglampoo
Chaired by Grameen Foundation

The session will host a debate on the best way the close the digital financial services (DFS) Gender Gap. One side will offer the proposition that digital platforms allow for more specialized and focused financial products. Using behavioral economics, our sector should focus on developing products that meet the specific needs of women and the way they manage money. The con side will argue that financial products are all similar, and what we need to focus on is greater financial and digital literacy and increasing equitable household relations.

Lauren Hendricks, Grameen Foundation 
Bhavani Prathap KasinaInnovations for Poverty Action
Gigi Gatti, Grameen Foundation
Grace MajaraCARE
Tanjilut Tasnuba, BRAC 

Financial Inclusion for Women Facing IPV: What works? What doesn’t? | May 24, 4:30 PM – 6:00 PM, Room B
Chaired by University of California San Diego

Financial inclusion interventions demonstrate effectiveness in reducing intimate partner violence (IPV) in some national settings; cross-sectional studies yield mixed findings on women’s labor force participation and IPV. This session will outline evidence on economic empowerment (women’s financial inclusion and labor force participation) and IPV. Panelists will present on global indicators and trend associations between economic empowerment and IPV, longitudinal analysis of economic empowerment as a predictor of IPV among women in rural India, and the promise of mobile technologies to improve financial inclusion via access to financial services in contexts of low female mobility and via an app to promote safety in public spaces, an impediment to women’s labor force participation.

Anita Raj, University of California, San Diego
Nandita Bhatla, International Center for Research on Women, Asia Regional Office
Jeni Klugman, Georgetown University

Financial Inclusion Presentation

Social Norms: Overcoming Barriers for Transformational Change in Women’s Financial Inclusion | May 23, 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM, Banglampoo
Chaired by CGAP

If women are to be economically empowered, gender-inclusive financial systems are needed that allow them to take full advantage of opportunities in the market. This means not only ensuring the equitable supply of financial services, but also addressing some the more persistent barriers that reduce or inhibit women’s uptake and use of these services. This session will explore social and cultural norms – often ignored by financial sector regulators – that present real barriers to women’s inclusion and highlight evolving research tools, and promising practices being used to bring about transformational change.

Yasmin Bin-Humam, CGAP
Thalia Kidder, Oxfam GB
Anna Mecagni, Women for Women International
Lis Meyers, Banyan Global

Social Norms Presentation

Different Perspectives, Shared Goal: Accelerating Women’s Financial Inclusion in Africa | May 24, 11:45 AM – 1:15 PM, Room C
Chaired by Women, Business and the Law, World Bank Group

This session will offer a comprehensive view on the challenges facing women in Africa in accessing finance and evidence based interventions to address these challenges. The team from across the World Bank Group including the Women, Business and the Law, the Africa Gender Innovation Lab and the IFC-MasterCard Foundation Partnership for Financial Inclusion will share their diverse expertise on both the legal and economic barriers to women’s access to finance. The presenters will highlight three different approaches to increasing women’s financial inclusion in Africa: using data as an advocacy tool for legal reform, piloting and evaluating fintech innovations and how digital finance can help make the business case for gender equality in financial services. This session will provide experiences from implementing innovative approaches and evidence from evaluations on how to improve women’s financial inclusion that can be transferred and customized across projects around the world.  The World Bank Group team will highlight how employing multiple approaches and working together across methodologies is a more effective way of tackling the multiple (and often overlapping) constraints affecting women.

Tazeen Hasan, World Bank Group, Women, Business and the Law
Rachel Coleman, World Bank Group, Africa Gender and Innovation Lab
Anca Bogdana Rusu, International Finance Corporation
Cindy Drakeman, DoubleXEconomy, LLC

Different Perspectives Presentation

Bridging Gaps & Challenges in Women’s Financial Inclusion – The Philippine Experience | May 23, 2:30 PM – 4:15 PM, Room A
Chaired by SURGE

Women’s economic empowerment by strengthening microenterprises is considered an effective mechanism to address gendered economic inequalities. This approach ensures the support of key stakeholders such as the private sector and local decision-makers. However, the need to address systemic constraints on market and investment support remains a challenge.

This session will bring together experts and practitioners’ experiences in women’s financial inclusion in the Philippines. Panelists will discuss issues and practices in improving women’s visibility and bankability including lessons learned in promoting economic growth with equity from policy development to the replication of successful models for expanding financial services to women entrepreneurs.

Gichelle Cruz, SURGE
Patrick Henry Asiñero, Great Women Project
Primar Jardeleza, National Network of Informal Workers in the Phillipines

Bridging Gaps Presentation