Gender Equity is a topic discussed by many Governments, organizations and groups throughout the world. Many of these discussions have led to how these issues can be addressed and the benefits it can give. Papua New Guinea has also been discussing this topic and has come up with a policy to address Gender equity and social inclusion specifically for Microfinance Institutions.
On May 31st 2017, the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the Governments of Australia and Papua New Guinea and the Center for Excellence in Financial Inclusion (CEFI) launched a Gender Equity and Social Inclusion (GESI) Policy for Microfinance Institutions.
The GESI policy was developed by the Microfinance Expansion Project designed to improve financial inclusion by strengthening PNG’s inclusive financial sector. It is a framework to address gender equity and social inclusion values and principals within organizations.
It is also intended to be used as a tool for increasing the understanding of gender equity and social inclusion and a guide for management and staff to mainstream gender equity and social inclusion into strategic planning, budgeting and internal business processes and the delivery of products and services.
“In 2016 at the Global Policy Forum (GPF) in Fiji, members of the Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI) endorsed the Denarau Action Plan which confirmed our commitment to gender and women’s financial inclusion,” Governor Loi Bakani said.
He further stated that the development of the GESI Policy for Microfinance institutions in PNG is an important milestone in our work towards full implementation of the Action Plan and reflects our determination to close the gender gap in financial inclusion.
Australia’s High Commissioner to PNG, Mr Bruce Davis, said Australia is a strong supporter of increased women’s participation and the application of GESI principles and values in the microfinance institutions should lead to new financial products and expand access to financial services, especially for rural women.
Liliana Warid, Private Sector Specialist at the ADB’s Pacific Liaison and Coordination Office (Sydney) also said the project supports partner financial institutions in their efforts to roll out suitable financial services
And the new GESI policy will ensure that the people of PNG have equal and equitable access to financial products and services.
The project was launched in April 2012, aimed at increasing financial inclusion in PNG and provide financial literacy training to 130 000 people by the end of 2018. This goal has been achieved.