Browse by Theme: Financial Inclusion

The number of women in the world who still lack access to formal financial services stands at 1 billion. While this figure is going down, the discrimination that women face compared to men, in terms of their access to and control over loans, savings and bank account services, continue to hold women back. If we are to see this 1 billion figure drop down to zero, then private sector organisations, governments and civil society organisations must work together to tackle the barriers slowing up progress, and invest in solutions to target women’s equal inclusion in the formal financial arena.

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Demand for financial services from low-income groups is at an all-time high. Some of that demand is by informal savings and loans groups – including CARE’s 5 million Village Savings and Loan Association members – who want access to quality group bank accounts and mobile-based solutions. East Africa is leading the world in setting up informal savings groups and linking them to formal financial services. The recent East Africa Linkage Summit provided exactly the kinds of insights that other regions can learn from to scale up financial inclusion in 2017.

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Reyna Araceli Reyes Sorto, age 44, lives in Villanueva Cortes in Honduras. When she was a child she dreamed of being a doctor yet because of economic hardship and lack of access to higher education, she was unable fulfil her dream. Until recently, she never thought a woman of her age could have the opportunity to have a job, to own a business, or to be engaged in any income generation activities; she believed only her husband could generate income. Then she joined a Rural Savings and Credit Union.

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Functioning market systems and a responsible and responsive private sector are critical to livelihoods, autonomy and well-being. However they are both heavily impacted by crisis, including war.

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Women are very important stakeholders for the whole cocoa industry – not just as customers and consumers, but also because of their roles as cocoa producers. Although cocoa is seen as a “male crop” in most of the producing countries, women have a key role in activities that are critical for the volume and quality of the production. Nevertheless, the “invisibility” of women has serious consequences for their access to technical training and productive resources in general, which is unjust and also represents a huge inefficiency in business terms.

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More diverse income, higher household assets, and more women's access to inputs. Find out how.

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