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Digital Cash Transfers in Times of COVID-19: Opportunities and Considerations for Women’s Inclusion and Empowerment

Women’s economic empowerment will be essential for a global economic recovery. Given pre-existing gender gaps, there are concerns about exclusion for many of the social assistance programs already being rolled out around the world. Social protection systems that ignore gender inequality will likely fail to mitigate the risks of COVID-19 for women, and, at worst, could further exacerbate inequalities.  Therefore, inclusive economic policies that empower women and create resilience now and for the future must be designed.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the World Bank Group, CGAP, and Women’s World Banking, has developed a joint white paper on gender intentional digital cash transfers in the time of COVID-19, offering guidance and considerations for policymakers to support women’s inclusion and empowerment.


CGAP is a global partnership of more than 30 leading development organizations that works to advance the lives of poor people through financial inclusion. Using action-oriented research, we test, learn and share knowledge intended to help build inclusive and responsible financial systems that move people out of poverty, protect their economic gains and advance broader development goals. We research and experiment to achieve proof of concept and extract lessons that can be built to scale by our partners, who apply our insights in the marketplace.