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Linda Mayoux Make Microfinance More Useful to Women

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  • 1. How Can We Make Microfinance More Useful to Women? Linda MayouxHow can we make microfinance more useful to women © Linda Mayoux 2011 Slide 1
  • 2. Why gender mainstreaming? • Women are at least half the population • Women’s human rights • Poverty reduction • Economic growth • Financial sustainability of FSPsHow can we make microfinance more useful to women © Linda Mayoux 2011 Slide 2
  • 3. 4 BIG C-MYTHS • Complacency • Culture • Conflict • Cost ALL CAN BE CHALLENGEDHow can we make microfinance more useful to women © Linda Mayoux 2011 Slide 3
  • 4. Business Arguments for MFIs • Large potential and underserved female market • Financial sustainability of FSPs because of high repayment • Womens empowerment enables them to use more profitable products • Men’s empowerment reduces destructive masculine behaviours • Client loyalty reduces follow-up costs • Management diversity makes better decision- makingHow can we make microfinance more useful to women © Linda Mayoux 2011 Slide 4
  • 5. A financially sustainable strategy Steps which all FSPs can take: • ‘Walking the talk’: organizational gender policy • Participatory market research for empowering products • Gender and empowerment mainstreaming in non-financial services • Building on group activities/client networks for action learning and collective action • Macro-level focus and advocacyHow can we make microfinance more useful to women © Linda Mayoux 2011 Slide 5
  • 6. Organisational Mainstreaming • Vision and institutional culture • Mainstreaming women’s language • Application processes for products • Equal opportunity policies for staff • Recruitment, training and promotion policies • Information systems • Using forms of communication and modes of delivery accessible to womenHow can we make microfinance more useful to women © Linda Mayoux 2011 Slide 6
  • 7. Financial Action Learning System Financially sustainable entry point for gender justice and empowerment Combines • Financial education • Participatory market research • SPM Integrated into application processes Sustainable through client peer trainingHow can we make microfinance more useful to women © Linda Mayoux 2011 Slide 7
  • 8. Some empowering products • Longer-term credit or leasing to build women’s assets eg land, housing in women’s names • Flexible credit to maximise investment in profitable activities • Pension/long term savings • Graduation for the ultra-poor from grants linked to training and employment creation • Value chain finance DEMAND-driven participatory market researchHow can we make microfinance more useful to women © Linda Mayoux 2011 Slide 8
  • 9. Sustainable non-financial services • Mainstreaming empowerment in core training and group mobilization • Mainstreaming empowerment in all other nonfinancial services, including BDS and value chain development • Developing mechanisms for peer training • Cross-subsidy from micro-finance and/or older and richer clients • Collaboration with other providers of non- financial services and private sector actorsHow can we make microfinance more useful to women © Linda Mayoux 2011 Slide 9
  • 10. Collective action for empowerment • Domestic violence • Women’s property rights • Women’s political participation • Food security and basic needs • Gender Action Learning System (GALS) • Gender Justice eventsHow can we make microfinance more useful to women © Linda Mayoux 2011 Slide 10
  • 11. Enabling environment Funding agencies could promote: • sectoral research on gender impacts of different models in the financial sector, including commercialisation. • sectoral learning and capacity-building networks for innovation to increase women’s empowerment at all levels • financial and enterprise education with a women’s empowerment perspective in schools and educational establishments • gender mainstreaming in national and international business/financial training at practitioners and tertiary level • gender experts and women’s organizations in designing financial regulations and consumer protection • intersectoral linkages and advocacy to mainstream gender justice in economic policy and planningHow can we make microfinance more useful to women © Linda Mayoux 2011 Slide 11
  • 12. Questions?? RESOURCES Genfinance website: www.genfinance.info Oxfam Novib’s WEMAN website www.wemanglobal.orgHow can we make microfinance more useful to women © Linda Mayoux 2011 Slide 12

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