Opportunity and Inclusion
Financial inclusion
Definition

Access to and use of financial products and services (e.g., savings, credit), including mobile banking

*For more on digital inclusion, see the digital inclusion page

© Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation | Barbara Kinney | Rural mobile banking unit in Nkhoma, Malawi
How financial inclusion supports women's economic empowerment
How financial inclusion produces further benefit
Interventions
While innovations to advance women’s financial inclusion have taken many forms, technological innovations -- including digitized social payments from governments, mobile money, and innovations in the design and delivery of financial products and services -- appear to hold particular promise.
Savings lockboxes in Kenya
Commitment savings accounts in the Philippines
Mobile money in Kenya
Guaranteed wage work in India
No-cost bank accounts in Nepal
Mobile cash transfer in Niger
Is there a case for action?

Although women and men throughout the world have been gaining access to financial services over time, in developing countries the gender gap hovers near 9 percent.

Most developing economies have a gender gap in account ownership rates, though the size of this gap varies from one country to the next. In Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Turkey, the gender gap is nearly 30 percent. Other developing economies with a double-digit gender gap include Morocco, Mozambique, Peru, Rwanda, and Zambia.

The persistent gender gap in financial inclusion reveals the need for action, especially given growing evidence of financial inclusion’s ability to boost WEE, spark growth in microenterprises and small enterprises, reduce the exposure of poor and rural communities to income shocks, and promote more sustainable and equitable development.

While efforts to advance women’s financial inclusion have taken many forms, technological innovations—including digitized social payments from governments, mobile money, and innovations in the design and delivery of financial products and services—appear to hold particular promise.

© Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation | Prashant Panjiar | Tokens for migrant workers in Bihar, India | 2010