International Monetary Fund Releases Gender Disaggregated Financial Access Survey

Stocks and Financial Services Press Releases Tuesday March 20, 2018 09:14
IMF--20 Mar--International Monetary Fund

As part of its commitment to support financial inclusion, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) conducts an annual Financial Access Survey (FAS). [1] The FAS is a high-quality supply-side financial inclusion database with a global reach to support policy analysis and formulation in the financial inclusion area. The 2016 FAS round included a pilot to capture the financial access gender data gap and support the IMF's analysis of women's economic empowerment in boosting growth and reducing income inequality. [2] The pilot, which included the participation of 28 countries, revealed that in almost half of the participating economies, financial service providers had access to their customers' gender information.

Casting the wider net …

Drawing from the 2016 pilot, an expanded pilot in 2017 invited all the IMF country members to report the gender breakdown of their commercial banks' depositors and borrowers. This time, 27 countries provided information on this breakdown from 2004–16, almost doubling the number of reporting countries. The results of the 2017 expanded pilot are available at FAS website.

The 2017 expanded pilot results are promising…

Two-thirds of the countries reporting gender-disaggregated data provided historical series, which bodes well for trend analysis. The results reveal the increasing availability of data on gender?related financial access over the past four years (Figure 1). This trend may reflect awareness, in several countries, of gender inequality and the need to gather better data to inform policies that boost women's economic participation.


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