DHAKA, Oct. 22 (NsNewsWire) — a2i, SHIFT programme of UNCDF and Women’s World Banking with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation organized a workshop on “Making Finance Work for Women” focusing on women’s participation in digital financial services for public and private stakeholders in the financial inclusion space, to address the issue of the widening gender gap in financial inclusion in Bangladesh. This event brought together high-level decision makers to discuss and collaborate on concrete solutions that will accelerate the financial inclusion of women.
S.M. Moniurzzaman, Deputy Governor of the Bangladesh Bank was present at the workshop as the chief guest and pointed out that “To provide service to women at the root level, it is prerequisite to that different Bank, MFS, Fintech companies need to change their mentality by introducing new financial products and services as well as re-design their existing ones.”
“It is imperative that we solve the increasing gender gap in financial inclusion in order to see a more secure and prosperous future for women, their families and the community.” said Anna Gincherman, Vice President for Strategic Partnerships at Women’s World Banking, who moderated the workshop. She added, “By bringing together committed stakeholders and sharing what we have learned, we can create more sustainable solutions to reach low-income women.” Women’s World Banking brought to the workshop its experience driving acquisition and engagement of digital financial services to low-income women globally, including its work with Prospera Digital, a part of a consortium of partners led by the Coordinación de Estrategia Digital Nacional (CEDN) of the Mexican government, to promote financial inclusion of more than 7 million Prospera beneficiaries, 98 percent of whom are women.
Highlighting the importance of the workshop and the urgent need to develop sustainable solutions to enhance women’s living standards and boost the economy at large, Md. Tohurul Hasan, Program Manager-DFS Lab of a2i said “Bangladesh has achieved a significant progress in different aspects/Indicators of Financial Inclusion over the years. However we cannot build an inclusive financial ecosystem without the participation of the women.” He added in his closing remarks “So, it is fundamental, in every circumstance, for us to find way by collaborating partnership with both public and private sector to ensure women’s participation at large scale in digital financial services.”
Financial services delivered digitally have the potential to address present barriers by offering accessibility, convenience, privacy, and security through channels such as mobile phones and retail agents. In order for Bangladesh to build a truly inclusive economy, digital financial solutions must work for the needs of women.
a2i programme has been relentlessly working to build an inclusive financial ecosystem by catalyzing digital payment systems. By linking financial service providers with financial inclusion experts, its Digital Financial Service Lab connects the low-income community with accessible & affordable financial services. a2i is also playing a fundamental role on digitizing large G2P payments and piloting innovative, digital means of delivery.
Women’s World Banking designs and invests in the financial solutions, institutions, and environments in emerging markets to create greater economic stability and prosperity for women, their families and their communities. With a global reach of 53 partners in 32 countries serving more than 30 million women clients, Women’s World Banking drives impact through its scalable, market-driven solutions; gender-lens private equity fund; and leadership and diversity programs. It brought together more than 45 key stakeholders of a digital financial ecosystem including representatives from both public and private sectors.
Among others, Humaira Azam, Additional Managing Director of Trust Bank Limited, Abul Kashem Md. Shirin, Managing Director of Dutch-Bangla Bank Limited and Selima Ahmad, President of Bangladesh Women Chamber of Commerce spoke at the workshop.