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EBRD: Gender-responsive policies key for economic recovery

EBRD: Gender-responsive policies key for economic recovery

 September 02, 2020

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi) hosted a policy webinar on “The role of inclusive policies: Does Covid-19 present a challenge or an opportunity for the economic empowerment of women?”.

The webinar discussed the importance of promoting gender-responsive policies in Covid-19 economic recovery and facilitate an exchange of best practices.

EBRD's Director for Gender and Economic Inclusion, Barbara Rambousek, moderated the webinar that was attended by almost 300 participants.

Wendy Teleki, Head of the We-Fi Secretariat, opened the event. Pierre Heilbronn, EBRD’s Vice-President for Policy and Partnerships, and Norbert Mumba, Executive Deputy Director, Alliance for Financial Inclusion, delivered insightful speeches.

The panellists highlighted key policy recommendations to ensure gender-sensitive investment and lending as part of the Covid-19 economic recovery response.

EBRD Barbara Rambousek women webinars

Insightful and thought-provoking discussion

The webinar focused on a range of important topics and issues impacting women in light of the COVID-10 pandemic.

Insightful and thought-provoking discussion focused on various areas including:

  • accelerating women's access to finance to ensure they are not disadvantaged 
  • addressing funding gaps and women's take up of early access to finance 
  • women's lack of accessing larger amounts of credit 
  • potential gender bias in lending
  • the importance of digitisation for women's empowerment

Key areas supporting women's economic advancement

Points were made about the resilience of women, and how women often are not over-leveraged financially.

Additionally, women often seek top access mentors and coaching - plus they can be quite innovative in key industry areas such as the health sector.  

Future growth opportunities for women's financial development were also discussed.

Conversation also covered the types of support needed to help women transition to digital activity for business - and a number of opportunities to help forge women's economic empowerment were discussed.

Access to early stage financing was seen as a key area where women needs support and assistance - and the need for programs specifically designed to support women in business is key. Raising awareness about access to funding was considered a key focus of financial workshops.

Points were made about supporting women in trade and value chains where economic opportunities exist. 

Specific examples of projects supporting women entrepreneurs in central Asia and Egypt were highlighted.

Women's financial inclusion is key

The panel noted ist was important to address financial inclusion and to successfully integrate gender into their strategic activity. Policy areas for focusing on the effective participation of women and girls in financial literacy was also addressed.

Measuring women's financial inclusion was discussed, as was the importance of collecting and accessing gender-disaggregated data and annual reporting.

The importance of providing digital financial services, such as mobile money services, was also focused on. Increasing women's use of digital technology for financial transactions was also addressed.

The panellists reminded that where one shops matters because supporting women-owned businesses is critical.

Interested in a career that supports women's economic empowerment?

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