Policy Brief: Making Financial Products and Services Work for Women

April 30, 2024

In this Policy Brief we explore the challenges faced by women in accessing and utilizing financial products and services in developing economies.  

Globally, approximately 750 million women lack access to financial services, highlighting persistent barriers despite advancements in financial inclusion. Women often exhibit lower levels of financial literacy and confidence compared to men, resorting to informal financial management methods. The exclusion of women from the financial system not only impedes inclusive growth but also represents a substantial opportunity cost for businesses. Tailoring financial products to meet women’s specific needs not only fosters economic resilience but also promotes inclusive growth and empowerment. 

The Policy Brief includes illustrative case studies from Cambodia and India showcasing successful initiatives employing women-centric product design principles, resulting in increased engagement and usage of financial products among women. 

Policymakers and regulators play a pivotal role in cultivating an environment conducive to offering inclusive financial solutions tailored to women’s needs. This Policy Brief focuses on the efforts policymakers, regulators, and financial service providers can make to foster inclusive design practices to create an inclusive financial ecosystem; one that caters to the diverse needs of women, and fosters economic growth and empowerment on a global scale.