Mobile money to close finance gender gaps

Rising innovations in mobile money platforms will help close the financial gender gap, a report by Omidyar Network, a philanthropic investment firm owned by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar reveals.

Women in Kenya, the report says, are most vulnerable to increased financial burdens, like the ones that arise when men abandon their responsibilities of providing for their families to them. The problem is compounded by the largely patriarchal society, which bars women from owning land.

“Although we have made great strides to expand access to financial services through new technologies and innovative business models, the gender divide stubbornly persists in most emerging markets,” Omidyar Network partner Tilman Ehrbeck said.

The report estimates about 1.1 billion women globally are excluded from the formal financial system. In developing countries, 59 per cent of men hold bank accounts compared with 50 per cent of women.