Women Around the World Face Hurdles to Financial Inclusion

Dec 30, 2015 2:35 PM ET

Presented by MetLife Foundation in collaboration with WSJ. Custom Studios, Multipliers of Prosperity takes a look globally at the challenges we face in confronting the issues of financial inclusion. The program dives deep into what’s working, questions what isn’t and finds the possible fixes. Most importantly, the program chronicles the triumphs of people who have taken the steps toward financial stability and the providers who have helped them reach those goals. We explore how financial stability is created, the kind of finance models that have succeeded, and innovative new channels and technology that make for smart solutions.

Imagine carrying all of your money on your arms. The gold jewelry circling your wrists and forearms is your retirement, collateral for a loan or a rainy-day fund. For many of the 1.1 billion women in the developing world who have no access to financial services, their money—whether the gold on their arms or the cash buried near their beds—is not protected. Often, it’s not even safe from their husbands.

Women make up 55 percent of the world’s unbanked adults, meaning they have no access to financial services such as bank accounts or insurance, even as the number of first-time bank-account holders actually has risen by 700 million over the past three years, according to the World Bank’s latest global financial-inclusion report, or Global Findex, released in April.

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Nandika Madgavkar
(212) 578-5707
Assistant Vice President, Corporate Responsibility for MetLife, Inc.