The formal financial inclusion gender gap in Papua New Guinea is estimated to be 29%, the highest in the South Pacific. Poverty levels, sociocultural norms and consequent disparities in literacy and employment are major drivers of the gender gap in financial inclusion in Papua New Guinea. Women have limited economic opportunities and lower levels of literacy than men. As a result, they have limited awareness of financial services, particularly formal services. In Papua New Guinea, women are more likely to keep their savings at home or borrow from money lenders due to their need for easy and convenient access to emergency funds. Such practices are typically high risk and more costly. Consequently, there is an urgent need for more equitable financial inclusion of women in Papua New Guinea.
To address the gender gap in financial inclusion, UNCDF developed a global “PoWER” strategy (Participation of Women in the Economy Realized) to drive women and girls’ economic empowerment by improving their access to, usage of and agency over financial services. UNCDF is seeking to gain a deeper understanding of the country-specific financial inclusion issues that women and girls face in Papua New Guinea and, in doing so, identify opportunities to create positive change. To this end, PFIP carried out an assessment using the PoWER framework in 2019. This document presents the results of UNCDF’s country assessment in Papua New Guinea.
For the Solomon Islands PoWER assessment please click here.
For a blog overview of the two PoWER assessments please click here.