This toolkit offering a practical guide to developing and monitoring financial services to enhance women’s financial inclusion as one tool for the economic empowerment of women.
This toolkit is aimed at staff in governments, donor agencies and NGOs, who want information about how to design and implement programmes to enhance the financial inclusion of women. This might be as part of a broader programme of financial inclusion designed for the population as a whole, or as part of a range of activities designed to improve gender equality and the economic life-chances of women. In both cases, knowledge about the different approaches taken by past projects and their impacts and lessons, will be of value. This toolkit uses lessons drawn from past projects on improving financial inclusion, together with more general research literature, to discuss how such programmes can be effectively designed, implemented and monitored.
This toolkit is mainly intended to help people designing programmes that use financial inclusion as a way to improve women’s economic empowerment. However, financial inclusion can empower women beyond their economic situations. As such, the toolkit will also be of interest to people working on programmes seeking broader empowerment outcomes for women, e.g. where financial inclusion may be only one of a range of objectives – such as an education programme with a savings component or a health programme with a microfinance component. It would also be appropriate to consider measuring the effectiveness of a women’s financial inclusion programme using indicators defined in social or even psychological terms, rather than just financially or economically.
This toolkit is not trying to cover the range of issues that comprise a gender equity agenda, nor even the full range of issues that would be needed to address women’s economic empowerment in its totality. The focus is on where financial inclusion, which embraces a much broader range of activities than traditional microfinance, overlaps with a wider gender equity and economic empowerment agenda.