September 13, 2016
THE Denarau Action Plan, adopted during the 2016 Alliance for Finance Inclusion (AFI) Global Policy Forum on Denarau last week by AFI members, marked a significant milestone in the AFI Network’s commitment to gender and women’s financial inclusion.
Three member institutions, who are members of the Pacific Islands Regional Initiative (PIRI), have set specific targets in the Maya Declaration Commitment to support women’s financial inclusion and bridge the gender gap.
These include Bank of PNG, Central Bank of Solomon Islands and the Reserve Bank of Vanuatu.
The action plan reflects the commitment of members to accelerate financial inclusion for women by promoting smart policies and leveraging on the success of AFI peer learning and sharing platform.
The plan among other things also calls for:
* Incorporating gender considerations in the AFI Network’s core activities;
* Encouraging AFI members to set specific financial inclusion objectives and targets for women’s financial inclusion; and
* Collaborating and coordinating with key stakeholders in taking concrete steps to better understand the women’s market segment.
The issue of Financial Inclusion for Gender and Women came to the fore in the 2015 AFI Global Policy Forum in Mozambique where members heard that according to the 2014 Global Findex Data, 42 per cent of women remained unbanked compared with men at 35 per cent. The data indicated that this gap remained persistent at nine per cent for developing countries since 2011.
The AFI was then mandated by members at the 2015 forum to explore how the gender gap in financial inclusion can be addressed through effective regulations and policies.
Meanwhile Melinda Gates, the co-chair and trustee of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, during a video presentation to forum delegates last Thursday, applauded AFI members who were beginning to look at their financial data by gender.
“This is an important way to understand where and why women were being left behind and how to change that. I am confident that the organisations assembled here are up to the challenge,” she said.
Source: Fiji Times