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Upscaling and Integrating Gender Savings Groups Into the Formal Financial System

Since 2011, 1.2 billion people have gained access to a bank account or e-money provider, yet over 1.7 billion adults worldwide still do not have access – over 80 percent of these are women, and the global gender access to finance gap remains static at nine percent.

Closing the financial inclusion gender gap is a key enabler to sustainable economic growth and stability that is much needed in the COVID-19 recovery phase. It is also vital that the progress made over the last ten years is not lost and financial inclusion for women goes forward, not backward.

AFI initiated this study to underscore the role of savings groups in enabling and sustaining the access, use, and overall quality of financial services by women, which is now even more relevant because of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Members are increasingly carrying out gender-focused policy and regulatory reforms, reflecting their commitment to the Denarau Action Plan.

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AFI is the world’s leading organisation on financial inclusion policy and regulation. A member-owned network, we promote and develop evidence-based policy solutions that improve the loves of the poor through the power of financial inclusion.