for Action

Through our thought leadership, research, and live programming, we foster the exchange of ideas and fuel collaborative action around the world.

Country strategies bring focus to a global agenda

In 2018, we developed country strategies to reach unbanked and underserved women in our priority markets of India, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Egypt, Mexico, and Nigeria. While each of these markets requires a strategy tailored to its unique culture and context, we discovered that common barriers to women’s financial inclusion exist across the board. Now, in 2019, we have a clear roadmap to tackle those barriers.


Low engagement by women with financial solutions for reasons ranging from low awareness to low phone ownership.

Few solutions from financial service providers for women due to lack of gender-disaggregated data.

Various regulatory challenges, including weak credit infrastructure and limited government focus.

5 principles optimize account usage from social protection payments.

Today, government social safety net programs reach 650 million low-income women. These digital payments are made directly into bank accounts. Yet, account ownership is not translating into financial inclusion because of a lack of knowledge and skills needed to use them. Those skills can be enhanced by the following principles.


Create an enabling environment for change by partnering with stakeholders in government, business, and the nonprofit sector.


Prioritize and sequence capacity building efforts to achieve learning and behavioral outcomes.


Embed capacity building into the Government-to-Person program delivery model.


Engage recipients through “teachable” moments along the user journey.


Collaborate and iterate with women to incorporate feedback.

Making Finance Work for Women continues its tour around the globe

The Making Finance Work for Women Summit is our flagship event, bringing together the private sector, government, researchers, and policy experts. In November 2018, we convened this group in New York City for workshops on gender lens investing, how to make digital technology work for women, and financing women in the supply chain. These workshops, along with research presentations and plenary sessions, created an opportunity for people from diverse backgrounds to come together to solve the most pressing issues in women’s financial inclusion.

Creating the Southeast AsiaAdvisory Council

We said a fond farewell to our Africa Advisory Council after five years, but the legacy of its successful model lives on in a new form—our Southeast Asia Advisory Council. Following the inaugural meeting in May, the Council embarked on a campaign to prominently feature women’s financial inclusion on the agendas of key meetings and fora in Southeast Asia, including the World Bank/IMF Annual Meeting in Bali. As Women’s World Banking expands its presence in Southeast Asia, this council will ensure that we build relationships with local advocates in the region to further our impact.

In Indonesia, a chance to influence at the highest policy level

Our work with the National Council for Financial Inclusion (DNKI) Secretariat to advance financial inclusion in Indonesia continued in 2018. Women’s World Banking facilitated the collaboration of various government agencies and private sector entities in order to map all financial inclusion activities and develop a plan to include 75 percent of Indonesians.

Celebrating International Women’s Day in Mexico

On International Women’s Day, Aspen Institute México and Women’s World Banking hosted the first of a series of events focused on women’s financial inclusion in Mexico. This series was sponsored by the UK Prosperity Fund and the British Embassy. The series of events culminated in a final report with recommendations for the newly-elected Mexican government.

“Financial inclusion creates better and more equal opportunities for people to improve their living conditions. It fosters economic justice and allows all citizens to contribute to a productive economy and society.”

Adalberto PalmaFormer Executive Director of Aspen Institute Mexico and current President of CNBV