[Tanzania] IFC launches initiative to increase access to financial services for women
16-04-2019 08:14:38 | by: Pie Kamau | hits: 3322 | Tags:

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has launched the Finance2Equal Tanzania Initiative aimed at increasing women’s participation across businesses by reducing gender gaps in leadership, employment, access to financial products and services, and as entrepreneurs in corporate supply chains. 

IFC will host the program’s secretariat building on existing tools, expertise and experience to implement the Finance2Equal peer-learning platform involving10-15 local companies working to catalyze the adoption of gender-smart solutions in their businesses. 

Dan Kasirye, IFC’s Resident Representative for Tanzania and Uganda, said “The financial services sector is the backbone for economic growth and the inclusion of women is critical in ensuring increased participation and reducing gender gaps in access to jobs and assets. Our work with private sector companies has shown that reducing gender gaps results in better outcomes for businesses, economies, and women. 

Studies show only 12 percent of women in Tanzania have a bank account or use banking services. While about 50 percent of women use formal non-banking channels such as microfinance and mobile money, leaving the rest of the women to rely on informal services or remain financially excluded. Similarly, persistent gaps remain at the corporate leadership level, with only 35 percent of women in managerial positions and only 13 percent on boards. 

Participating companies will commit to implement at least two gender-smart strategies on recruitment, retention and promotion of women, rolling out women-centric products and services, diversification of supply chains and sex-disaggregating portfolio data while communicating about these initiatives. Progress on these commitments will be tracked throughout the time-bound 18 months program and published in an end-of-project best practice public report. 

The Government of Tanzania is working towards increasing access to financial products and services under the second National Financial Inclusion Framework 2018-2022.  The Framework puts emphasis on addressing the needs of marginalized groups, including women. Advancing gender equality and financial inclusion will allow the country to capture the economic and social benefits when women are full participants in the economy.

“The government encourages partnerships between public and private sector to advance equality. The two should work together to make access and usage of formal financial service a reality for all women in Tanzania,” said Nangi Massawe, Chair of the National Financial Inclusion Secretariat, Tanzania.