• Gender finance
Nov 28, 2013

Building women-focused finance in MENA and beyond

Does the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region have responsible women – focused on finance? What can the microfinance sectors offer to its female clients? To answer these questions and many others, the Women’s World Banking (WWB) hosted under the patronage of Her Majesty Queen Rania a two-day conference on 19th/20th of November 2013.

More than 300 local and global experts, stakeholders, members and regulators from all over the world gathered in Amman to share their experience and best practices to promote financial inclusion for women.

According to the World Bank, only about 13% of women have access to a formal type of finance in the MENA region, the lowest share in all world regions. Accordingly, Her Majesty Queen Rania honoured the conference with her visit and appreciation for this important event.

During the conference, participants tackled diverse innovative approaches on how to achieve sustainable inclusive finance that meets the needs of rural women in light of the political instability in the region. They also examined different global financial services for women. Microinsurance and mobile banking are only two of those examples of financial tools and resources.

The GIZ Regional Programme ‘Promotion of the Microfinance Sector in the MENA Region’ (MFMR) supported the WWB in realizing the conference through its financial and technical assistance to the regional microfinance network, Sanabel. GIZ also shared its successful experience in Uganda in one of the sessions.

Women’s World Banking is a global nonprofit organisation devoted to giving more low-income women access to the financial tools and resources essential to their security and prosperity.

By Rania Abu Rabie