The Women’s World Banking and the UN Capital Development Fund recently announced the launch of the Women’s Digital Financial Inclusion (WDFI) Advocacy Hub, a new global coalition to catalyze collective action to increase women’s digital financial inclusion. The coalition aims to close the gender gap in access to digital technology, skills, and digital financial products for women entrepreneurs – particularly in developing countries.
“Three quarters of a billion women around the world are excluded from the formal financial system,” said Mary Ellen Iskenderian, President and CEO of Women’s World Banking. “Imagine the possibilities if those women had equal access to technology, skills, and financial services. The WDFI Advocacy Hub is a groundbreaking global collaboration that will make those possibilities a reality and close the financial inclusion gap.”
The WDFI Advocacy Hub has two interconnected components: Local coalitions in Indonesia and Ethiopia made up of civil society, public and private sector organizations who will advocate for priority women’s digital financial inclusion issues in their markets, as well as the Global Advocacy Hub which will drive coordinated, global advocacy. The WDFI Advocacy Hub’s first priority is building a diverse global coalition, and adding new partners to the hub over the coming weeks.
The launch comes shortly after the release of the 2021 World Bank Global Findex, which shows the gender gap beginning to narrow, though the time it will take to close has only decreased by four years. And even though COVID-driven digital usage, especially payments, may have accelerated inclusion in the short term, unequal access to technology – specifically smartphone and mobile internet – imperils this progress and could drive further exclusion.
Supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the WDFI Advocacy Hub is a collective of diverse stakeholders, including financial service providers, FinTechs, civil society, and bi- and multi-lateral organizations. Led by Women’s World Banking and the UN Capital Development Fund, initial partners include the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP), FinEquity convened by CGAP, GSMA, International Finance Corporation, The World Bank Gender Group, Better Than Cash Alliance, and Kaleidofin.
For more information on how to become a partner of the WDFI Advocacy Hub, visit www.itshereconomytoo.org or search #ItsHerEconomyToo on Twitter.
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