H.M. Queen Máxima of the Netherlands will provide virtual opening remarks at a high-level event to launch a global call to action on reaching financial equality on International Women’s Day on 8 March 2021. She will participate in her capacity as the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development (UNSGSA). The event is organized by the Better than Cash Alliance, United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), Women’s World Banking, and the World Bank.
Financial inclusion for women is a key priority for the Special Advocate due to the positive impact of including women in the formal economy. It is also critical area of focus as negative impacts from the COVID-19 crisis disproportionally affect women, including female entrepreneurs. UN Women anticipated that 47 million more women and girls worldwide have fallen into poverty as a result of COVID-19, which could raise the overall total to 435 million women and girls living on less than $1.90 per day (2020).
The UNSGSA’s speech will encourage governments and businesses to build back stronger from COVID-19 by prioritizing women’s digital financial inclusion. This includes a focus on how tech-enabled innovations can provide digital payment solutions and an onramp to more diversified financial services. She will also stress that it is key to invest in the digital public goods to reach full financial inclusion for women.
A publication for the call to action will also be launched during the event. It will detail how society can rebuild stronger after COVID-19, notably through 10 key actions related to digital financial inclusion for women. Some of these include digitizing private sector payments and government social benefits, creating universal access to identification, outlawing financial discrimination against women, and creating and enforcing consumer protection procedures.
Better than Cash Alliance, UNCDF and the World Bank are part of the UNSGSA’s advisory Reference Group of leading international organizations in financial inclusion to share expertise and suggest strategic opportunities she can advance through advocacy and partnerships.
To register to watch the event, click here.