Bank Group Contribution
The World Bank Group has an extensive FI portfolio, with a growing focus on opportunities for women. The World Bank has an active lending portfolio of US$3.5 billion for FI – with about US$1.4 billion in IBRD, US$1.26 billion in IDA funding, and US$862 million in IBRD/IDA blend countries - and with over 100 lending projects in more than 60 countries. The World Bank has active technical assistance and lending projects supporting FI in more than 100 countries.
IFC’s development reach has been notable in calendar year 2013. IFC reached 41 million microfinance and more than 1 million small and medium enterprise clients. IFC’s investment and advisory services facilitated an estimated 11.6 million microfinance loans; 210,000 housing finance loans; and 2.7 million SME loans, for a total of US$11.4 billion, US$7.3 billion and US$91.3 billion outstanding, respectively.
The World Bank Group frequently partners with a variety of organizations to advance financial inclusion for Women, including the Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI), the G20, financial sector development trusts, UNCDF, the OECD, GIZ, USAID, AusAid, SECO, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Women’s World Banking, The Global Banking Alliance for Women and regional development banks.
Key challenges faced by countries in achieving financial inclusion for women include a lack of data and a lack of capacity. The availability of gender-disaggregated data is still limited, despite such important new surveys as the World Bank Group’s Global Findex, the Gender Entrepreneurship Markets (GEM) program, and Women, Business and the Law. Improved gender-disaggregated data, with stronger quantity and quality, will strengthen the business and policy case for financial inclusion for women entrepreneurs.
Supporting women entrepreneurs remains a vital issue. In September 2013, IFC set up a Gender Secretariat to support clients with integrating women as entrepreneurs, employees and leaders resulting in better business performance and development impact.
To ensure that countries have access to comprehensive technical assistance, capacity-building support and knowledge for meeting their national financial inclusion commitments and targets, Financial Inclusion Support Framework (FISF) was launched. FISF will cover such areas as MSME Finance, Financial Infrastructure, Financial Capability and Consumer Protection, Mobile and Government Payments, Remittances, and Agricultural Finance. More than 15 countries have already requested and received assistance. The FISF also has a knowledge component for Women and Financial Inclusion, which is currently in the design stage.
An assessment of a World Bank project including female migrant workers from Indonesia found that financial literacy training for both the migrant worker and the family member entrusted with receiving remittances, resulted in increased financial capability, higher levels of savings, and improved financial management.
The World Bank Group is supporting legal reform in the Democratic Republic of Congo to remove restrictions embedded within the Family Code which impede women's ability to make financial and business related decisions. The new Family Code will remove the legal requirement that married women need their husband's written authorization to open bank accounts, get loans, register businesses, enter into contracts, and initiate legal proceedings.
Also in Côte d’Ivoire, wives are no longer barred from being the legal head of household. Married women who previously could not claim tax deductions for their children or husbands can now claim the same deductions as married men, reducing their overall tax burden and enabling women to build their savings and investment potential.
In China, IFC works closely with Bank of Deyang to help extend its services to SMEs and support women-owned businesses in areas affected by the 2008 earthquake. In 2009, IFC approved a US$31 million equity investment to the bank. IFC has also provided gender sensitivity training to Bank of Deyang’s managers, and is helping make the business case for the women-owned SME market. As a result, the bank launched a microloan program for women, which has disbursed US$2 million to 322 women entrepreneurs, creating more than 1,000 jobs. The bank also opened the first branch exclusively dedicated to women, aiming to reach 4,300 women-owned SMEs and US$458 million in loans by June 2013. Bank of Deyang became the first Chinese bank to join the Global Banking Alliance for Women.
These results support the following Millennium Development Goals:
- Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
- Promote gender equality and empower women
- Develop a global partnership for development
Empowering Women Through Microfinance in Tajikistan
Empowering women entrepreneurs in Nigeria
Housing Finance in Egypt
Microloans in Egypt
Microfinance for Women in Mauritania
Microfinance in Mongolia
Widows Receive Microloans in Indonesia