Stakeholders’ Consultation on Women Empowerment through Digitized Means of Financial Inclusion

22 May, 2018

  • Highlights
  • Agenda

In G20 countries, only 40 per cent women have access to a bank account, and while they own one-third of the total small and medium-sized enterprises, they receive only 10 per cent of the loans granted by banks. India stands out as a country that, despite having taken several policy steps to enable gender equity, has been ineffective in improving outcomes in terms of female labour force participation rate and access to credit and banking facilities. The objective of the stakeholder consultation was to present the preliminary findings of ICRIER’s study titled “Women Empowerment through Digitised means of Financial Inclusion” for India’s G20 Agenda under the Argentinean Presidency, gather insights from participants on the issues involved, understand the gaps in the study and the course for further research. The discussants unequivocally acknowledged that the gap in attainment of educational qualifications is often the basis for inequity in other economic outcomes. The gap in ownership of mobile phones and access to the Internet are also worrying, given the enormous focus on digital solutions that are being designed to address exclusion in the future. The importance of basic as well as financial and digital literacy for women and closing the gap between ownership and access was stressed. Participants also highlighted the numerous success stories from India such as the self-help group movement with nearly a 100 million self-help groups and microfinance. One of the questions posed to the discussants was the need for innovations in savings and investment products. The importance of a shift away from the credit innovation model owing to the lack of women specific financial instruments was emphasised. Additionally, both demand and supply side factors that contribute to the gender gap in financial inclusion were examined and policy actions that leverage digital technology to create ownership and access opportunities for women in India were recommended. Some of the notable participants in the consultation were, Saibal Paul, Associate Director of Sa-Dhan, Priyanka Paul, General Manager, Paytm Payments Bank, Rashi Sabherwal, Research Manager, Evidence for Policy Design (EPoD), Annapurna Neti, Professor at Azim Premji University, Elizabeth Bennett, Senior Manager, IDinsight, Amitabh Sinha, Vice President of Strategy and Corporate Affairs, SODEXO and Stephane Michelin, CEO of Benefits and Rewards India, SODEXO.

Stakeholders’ Consultation on Women Empowerment through Digitized Means of Financial Inclusion

22nd May, 2018

Conference Room, ICRIER, India Habitat Centre
11:00-13:15 Hrs



11:00 – 11:15: Registration

11:15 – 11:20: Introductory Remarks

11:20 – 11:40: Presentation

11:40 – 12:10: Financial Inclusion and Women Empowerment – General Issues

12:10 – 12:40: Digital Potential for Women Empowerment through Financial Inclusion

12:40 – 13:10: International Comparisons and Cooperative Measures

13:10 – 13:15: Closing Remarks