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What Does Financial Inclusion Mean for Women and Girls Today?

Maura Hart, Manager, Knowledge & Communications
Women's World Banking
Microfinance Gateway
March 1, 2016

For women, and low-income women in particular, savings accounts can be a game-changer by allowing them to build more financial security for themselves and their families, to grow their businesses, and to cope with emergencies. However, low-income women often face barriers to accessing a safe place to save due to mobility and time constraints as well as low levels of financial literacy. They are forced to save in less reliable ways: at home in a drawer or under a mattress, by buying excess stock for their businesses, or through a neighborhood savings club.

Women's World Banking is focused on the tools that all women and girls need to build a brighter future—appropriate and comprehensive financial services. International Women’s Day gives us the opportunity to reflect on the progress Women's World Banking and others have made and advocate for the innovations that will bring us closer to full financial inclusion for women and girls. As we look forward to the next International Women’s Day, let’s continue to embrace the broadest possible definition of financial inclusion for women—not just access to services or credit but meaningful use of valuable and innovative financial products to build security and prosperity. With this mission in mind, we would be well on our way to closing the gender gap and helping all women and girls reach their full potential.

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