Gender and Women's Financial Inclusion

Supporting the Implementation of the Gender Equity and Social Inclusion (GESI) Policy for Financial Institutions

With the support of MEP partners and microfinance institutions, the Bank of PNG launched the Gender Equity and Social Inclusion (GESI) Policy for Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) in 2017.

  • Practical implementation of the GESI policy is essential to build institutional capacity, influence behavioural change, develop awareness and create an accessible, equitable and inclusive environment for those who are currently financially excluded.
  • Early training and awareness and implementation of the GESI policy has been undertaken with nine partner financial institutions. These partners vary greatly in size, operational capacity, customer numbers and outreach. They range from a small, one-branch Savings and Loans Society on Manus Island to the much larger, more sophisticated, multi-branch microbanks and more than 150 employees. Collectively, they employ more than 600 staff and serve over 415,000 customers in 46 branches across 13 provinces.
  • The overall goal is to increase women’s financial inclusion in Papua New Guinea by enabling women to access, and effectively operate, useful and affordable financial products and services that meet their needs.

Wherever possible and appropriate, the Project is collaborating with other projects, NGOs, government departments, civil society, community groups and the private sector to maximise the impact and reach of the GESI policy implementation.

  • Importantly, this work also supports the various APEC 2018 digital financial inclusion activities including the theme of the Women and the Economy Forum to advance the economic integration of women, and the sub-themes: financial and economic literacy and inclusion for access to capital; and digital literacy for economic inclusion.
  • Project activities and expected outcomes are:
  1. Financial Institutions are adopting and implementing the GESI Policy

The project team is working with capable MEP partner financial institutions and other financial service providers and organisations in PNG who are committed to increasing financial inclusion to adopt and practically implement the GESI Policy.

The project team is providing: technical assistance, training and materials and guidance to conduct organisational gender assessments, review existing operations and product and service offerings, expose issues, identify opportunities and highlight new product/service possibilities, encourage innovative approaches, enable linkages, foster collaboration, develop GESI Implementation Plans, establish monitoring and evaluation systems, and report progress and lessons learned.

  1. Stakeholders are collaborating, coordinating initiatives, and contributing to policy-making to increase women’s financial inclusion

The project team is working to introduce, inform and organise stakeholders via provincial multi-stakeholder meetings and national workshops to encourage collaboration and more effective policy development and coordination of efforts to increase women’s financial inclusion.  Project team members will also regularly participate in the National Financial Inclusion Strategy’s Working Groups to ensure issues specific to women’s financial inclusion are raised and represented.

  1. A national Financial Inclusion Advocacy and Awareness Campaign is executed documenting and communicating GESI implementation activities, building awareness of financial inclusion issues, advocating for GESI principles and promoting the financial institutions and their plans and activities as they implement the GESI Policy

The project team is working to develop and coordinate national and provincial media coverage to increase awareness and understanding of financial inclusion, particularly for women. The media campaign will also benefit participating financial institutions by building their public profiles and increasing awareness of their implementation of the GESI Policy. The work done with each participating institution throughout the implementation process will be documented and presented via a series of multi-media case studies highlighting activities, outcomes and lessons learned. 

  1. Regular publication of key, internationally recognised, National Financial Inclusion Indicators enabling regular and critical analysis of the extent, nationally, of women’s financial inclusion, monitoring of progress, informed program decisions and evidence-based policy making.

The project team is working with the Bank of Papua New Guinea, CEFI and all licensed and regulated financial institutions to reach consensus on key definitions for critical internationally accepted financial inclusion indicators and quarterly collection and reporting systems. A quarterly National Financial Indicators Report enabling and including regular and critical analysis of progress and informed policymaking and program decisions, particularly on the extent of women’s financial inclusion, will be produced.

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