For those interested in the partnership thread, let me kick off the conversation by saying…
I support Assumption 1: ‘Financial
products and services can shift gender norms to promote women’s financial inclusion, but
only when solutions are designed and/or delivered in partnership with others’.
We know gender norms are deeply entrenched and really difficult to shift, and I don’t think any financial inclusion approach/organization
that even budged gender norms a little bit was able to do that alone. But I would love to hear if you know examples otherwise! However the more successful approaches to my mind have been designed or delivered through cross-sector partnerships.
Here’s three examples I can think of:
There’s an interesting
digital sub-wallet innovation coming out of Western Uganda, developed through a dynamic partnership between Postbank Uganda, CARE International, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and DoubleXEconomy. In Western Uganda it’s normal for men to make decisions
for the household including about finance. The approach deliberately engaged men and families with the goal to increase the financial autonomy and empowerment of women. The sub-wallet enables women customers to divvy up their money and allocate funds toward
goals based on how they prefer to save and use money. To increase women’s agency over how the money is spent, women enrolled in Village Savings and Loan Associations, and their partners and household members were encouraged to participate in household dialogues.
Last I heard implementation might be still ongoing though some of the early outcomes were more joint planning.
Building on the conversation earlier today about the role of the media to shape behaviour,
here’s a nice example from Women’s World Banking. Their market research in Kenya highlighted the range of social norms which were blocking Kenyan women from opening bank
accounts. Barriers ranged from a lack of familiarity with banks amongst potential or existing female customers which made the thought of banking there intimidating, and also
misperceptions about the cost of having a bank account. WWB worked with a team of Kenyan partners to test an innovative social communications strategy: using a popular TV show to help change social attitudes about banking. Results were impressive. About 138,000
more low-income women reported having a bank account after watching the show. You can read more about
Gender lens investing is also an interesting space to explore when thinking about partnerships. Development Finance Institutions including
development banks are super interested in investing in financial institutions willing to go beyond just supporting women’s access to financial services, but looking for gender smart investments that might support women to use and benefit from financial services.
These cases are definitely a collaboration, not just a one-way investment. Check out this innovative
partnership between the Dutch development bank FMO and Access Bank PLC,
investing in a women’s market programme.
Looking forward to hearing from others
Are cross-sector partnerships essential for challenging gender norms that impede women’s financial inclusion?
Share your thoughts, weigh in on whether you agree or refute with the assumptions shared in the post below (or
anything else you’d like to discuss on the topic), and why?
From: finequity.snediscussion@... <finequity.snediscussion@...>
On Behalf Of Fiona Jarden via Uncdf.Dgroups.Io
Sent: woensdag 12 juni 2019 18:25
Subject: [finequity.snediscussion] #ediscussionday2 - partnerships
Hello everyone and welcome to session three of Day 2 of this e-discussion series
Thanks so much for joining us.
My name is Fiona Jarden, Senior Financial Inclusion Advisor with the KIT based in Amsterdam and I’ll be your moderator for the next three hours. It’s been great to learn today about what social
norm solutions are out there shaping ‘new norms’ in society to promote more women’s financial inclusion (like her access and use) and her greater economic empowerment (like decision making power and control over resources). We heard from our CARE participants
today about the Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLAs) which not only supported statistically significant increases in women's access to savings and loans, but in Niger VSLA membership helped boost women's political representation and in Burundi the
platform helped address child marriage. I also liked learning from Cathleen about TEB Bank in Turkey shaping behavior change through their ‘norm aware’ products.
What struck me about these examples was that they all most certainly involved a partnership approach. i.e. I’m aware the VSLA example worked with local municipalities,
women’s rights organisations, financial service providers and others to shift norms for women's financial inclusion and to support gender equality.
Focus of the conversation now:
For this session we'd like to hear from you whether partnerships are essential
to going beyond
a focus on mere access, to challenge
gender norms that impede women’s financial inclusion. To kick this ‘partnerships’ conversation off, please weigh in on whether you agree or refute with the following assumptions, and
Assumption 1: Financial products and services can shift gender norms to promote women’s financial inclusion, but only when solutions are designed and/or delivered in partnership with other sectors.
Assumption 2: Governments play a key role in shifting gender norms through national policies, programmes and initiatives, but these initiatives are most effective when designed and implemented with other sectors
Assumption 3: Financial inclusion initiatives that aim to shift gender norms that work in isolation are more likely to do harm than good.
Or, simply feel free to discuss any aspect of whether partnerships are essential to challenging gender norms for women's financial
If you have the time, please also share some examples, or links so we can learn from your experience and work. To participate,
please respond to this email or if you are participating through the d-groups, press the reply button below.