Listen Now: Bridging the Gender Gap? Implementing Financial Literacy for Women


Author: Keneilwe Tsotsotso

This webinar explores the role of Digital Financial Literacy (DFL) in addressing the gender gap in women’s access and the use of digital financial services (DFS); the key enablers that support digital financial literacy; and the principles of good DFL program design.

FinEquity defines digital financial literacy as the application of digital literacy and financial literacy to enable the use of digital financial services. Digital Financial Services are widely considered to offer real opportunities in improving women’s financial inclusion and economic empowerment. However, it is not as simple as just adding mobile phones or designing new products highlighted in Strategic Impact Advisors(SIA) Hey sister campaign. Digital Financial Literacy – the ability to comfortably use DFS, is one of the barriers affecting access and use of DFS. Other barriers highlighted are the absence of training and support when using DFS products.

In FinEquity’s synthesis brief DFL consists of five key enabling factors- literacy, numeracy, consumer awareness, design, access, and a constraining factor as social norms. “This framework helps unpack the different dimensions of digital financial literacy (DFL) and demonstrate why they should not be tackled in isolation as they are very much connected”. Now more than ever women need to be able to manage their financial lives. Developed by SIA, Hey Sister-Show me the Mobile Money! is an IVR (interactive voice response) mobile campaign designed to increase women’s ability to access and use digital financial services. The campaign lessons are available for download here.

To apply good principles for DFL you must:

  • Have a clear understanding of the user to cater to their needs and aspirations. Design thinking has become a popular approach, since it is about designing with, instead of designing for.
  • Retest your product. This can help you produce continuous innovative solutions or approaches through a better understanding of an issue and its related factors.
  • Make sure you use multiple media platforms to reiterate the message to your consumers.
  • Lastly, understand that there are gendered social norms at play in communities and how that affects the uptake of digital financial services.