Fin­an­­cial in­­clu­­sion

Ninety countries have legal restrictions that hinder women in their choice of profession and economic activity.

Such restrictions are, for example, access to land rights, property, finance, inheritance rights and the carrying out of a profession. Equal participation in the economy is possible only when women can independently open savings accounts, take out loans and insurances, and have access to basic financial education.
Financial inclusion improves living conditions, increases economic activity and reduces vulnerability to crises.

Lack of ac­cess to the formal fin­an­cial mar­ket - the con­se­quences:

Fin­an­zi­elle Inklu­sion - Bankkon­ten

  • with Bank account
  • without Bank account

Only 59 per cent of all women have a bank account. x

  • Women currently have less access than men to formal financial services such as bank accounts, loans, insurance, etc.
  • When women are denied access to formal financial markets, they become dependent on risky options to build up reserves or take out loans.
  • Such options are often informal and expose women to an increased risk of theft and loss due to a lack of legal protection.

  • Women are unable to benefit from fair interest rates and deposit guarantees, have no formal means of appeal and bear a higher risk of losing their savings. 

One bil­lion wo­men cur­rently have no ac­cess to the formal fin­an­cial mar­ket

In many countries, women face legal, social and multiple discrimination which negatively impacts on their socio-economic participation.


  • Financial products are often not designed for the needs of women. Loans are also granted to women less often and in smaller amounts.
  • One reason for this concerns the unequal legal situations in some countries whereby women cannot acquire or inherit land or property and therefore have less collateral to secure loans. 

Info: 90 countries have legal restrictions that hinder women in their choice of profession and economic activity.x


Re­quire­ments for fin­an­cial in­clu­sion

To enable financial inclusion requires the specific needs and perspectives of women to be addressed when designing new financial services and products. Innovative functions, products and corresponding customer services need to be developed and provided to ensure that everyone has access to the financial market.x

Improving the legal framework for economic participation is also essential to ensure women's access to (land) property and their own financial resources. Basic financial education should also be consistently available to all women. Successful financial inclusion of women positively impacts on the economic performance of society as a whole.


  1. Source: World Bank Group (2018) The Global Findex Database 2017 (opens in a new window)
  2. Source: World Bank Group (2020) Women, Business and the Law, p.9
  3. Source: GPFI (2020) Advancing Women’s Digital Financial Inclusion, p.39