Our President and CEO Mary Ellen Iskenderian blogged for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Corporate Citizenship Center blog as part of their International Women’s Day 2014 celebration. Here’s an excerpt of the post entitled “The Key to Successfully Banking the Poor: Start with Women”:
“That would make us feel very proud and our lives would be very happy every day.” You could probably make several well-reasoned guesses about what life-altering experience this woman from Malawi was referring to and still not guess that she was describing how she would feel if she could open a bank account in her own name. As we approach International Women’s Day, we’ll hear many stats and figures about the lives of women around the world today. Here’s one that may surprise you: over one billion women don’t have access to the most basic of financial tools, a savings account. For this woman, and millions of other low-income women throughout the developing world, having a bank account is aspirational, representing safety, security and the opportunity to be treated with dignity.