Microinsurance that Works for Women: Making Microinsurance Programs Gender-Sensitive

October 7, 2010

“Microinsurance that Works for Women: Making Microinsurance Programs Gender-Sensitive” introduces the ground-breaking work that Women’s World Banking has done on developing microinsurance programs tailored to the unique needs of women.

Through extensive market research conducted from 2003 to 2008 in eight countries spanning South Asia, Northern and Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and Latin America, Women’s World Banking has observed that poor women are especially vulnerable to risks related to health, income generation, old age, and death. Women’s World Banking has also found that women are typically the caregivers in their households and are generally responsible for managing the health risks of their family members, which often entails additional costs, such as transportation to and from medical facilities and lost income due to having to divert time away from income-generating activities. This publication explores how microinsurance could be designed and delivered to help them manage those risks and costs and contribute to poverty alleviation.

Developed through a partnership with the Zurich Insurance Company and the Microinsurance Centre and published by the International Labour Organization’s Microinsurance Innovation Facility, the publication aims to catalyze a discussion among microfinance practitioners, donors, and the academic community on the need for gender-sensitive microinsurance.

With additional support from the ILO, Women’s World Banking and Zurich will be launching a caregiver microinsurance product to benefit clients of Women’s World Banking network member, Microfund for Women in Jordan. The first of its kind, the product will provide affordable health insurance along with predefined benefits for caregivers during hospitalization.

Authors: Anjali Banthia, Susan Johnson, Michael J. McCord, and Brandon Mathews