Teaching Women & Girls to Save Could Change the Global Economy
As the global population and influence of girls and women continue to increase, access to savings accounts has the potential to have an enormous impact on economic futures.
With a very influential role in the global economy, girls and women are regularly accumulating money and actively managing it, but lack a safe place to save it. The opportunity for women to save is particularly important in developing countries, as women are often forced into early marriage and childbearing as their only option for the future. Not only would savings opportunities provide support for the entire family, but it would do so for the woman as an individual. She would be able to take her time to get married, start a family and establish herself in other ways as a productive global citizen by having a financial savings as a backbone.
Because of this, organizations such as Women’s World Banking are providing savings opportunities for low-income women and girls all over the world, including Ethiopia. Women’s World Banking works in partnership with a global network of 39 leading microfinance institutions in 28 countries to create new credit, savings and insurance products that are specifically designed for the needs of women.
Particularly in Ethiopia, Women’s World Banking focuses on poverty eradication and community empowerment by promoting youth savings and partnering with PEACE MFI S.CO. PEACE is a micro finance institution playing an important role in providing access to financial services by rural farmers and people engaged in similar services, including small scale rural and urban entrepreneurs. This is especially important in Ethiopia considering how their economy is so heavily focused on agriculture. Together, Women’s World Banking and PEAECE MFI S.CO developed a youth savings program that correlate with the needs of Ethiopia.
A main focus of the initiative in Ethiopia is reaching girls; a specific service model for girls has been established, in partnership with Population Council, which aims to reach vulnerable girls in Ethiopia. Although it is still a challenge, Women’s World Banking found many lessons learned that have contributed the continued success of the initiative, giving girls in Ethiopia alternative independent economic opportunities through saving.
World Women’s Banking recognizes the enormous importance of the role of women in our global economy and, without their contributions, an economy cannot grow. Only when there is both the ability for women to act and the opportunity to act does financial capability truly exist for women.