Microfinance Gateway | What Does Financial Inclusion Mean for Women and Girls Today?

March 8, 2016

Innovations for closing the gender gap

Women’s World Banking is focused on the tools that all women and girls need to build a brighter future –  appropriate and comprehensive financial services. International Women’s Day gives us the opportunity to reflect on the progress Women’s World Banking and others have made and advocate for the innovations that will bring us closer to full financial inclusion for women and girls.

Today nearly one billion women around the world do not have access to formal financial services and, new data provided over the last year has helped us to better understand that number. The good news: according to the World Bank’s latest Global Findex Database, 58 percent of women had a bank account in 2014 versus 47 percent in 2011. The bad news: the gender gap between men and women’s access to financial services in developing economies stands still at nine percentage points. That gap is even wider in some regions, 18 percent in South Asia, and in the Middle East, where men are twice as likely as women to have an account.