Women are less likely than men to access financial services as well as many other services such as education, affordable housing, and quality healthcare that contribute to a secure life. These gender disparities are particularly great in the Western Hemisphere, where less than half of all women have access to a bank account.
Solution and Impact
Financing to Global Partnerships supports lending to microenterprises and other organizations in Latin America that are working to expand opportunity for people living in poverty by expanding access to paid work, education, energy, healthcare, housing, sanitation and clean water. Most of DFC’s financing targets women, who are more likely to work in the informal economy and be vulnerable to poverty.
Recognizing that people at the base of the economic pyramid have multiple challenges, Global Partnerships has multiple initiatives such as Women Centered Finance with Health and Women-Centered Finance with Education, which combine access to credit with additional services such as basic literacy training, money management training, and access to essential medications. Other Global Partnerships initiatives expand access to solar lighting for remote communities living off the grid, training to help smallholder farmers increase yields, technical assistance to help artisans grow and diversify their revenue, and digital education materials to bolster educational opportunities.
Zandra Sajbin is an artisan in Guatemala who was able to significantly increase her income with the help of Global Partnerships’ Artisan Market Access Initiative, which partners with social enterprises that purchases goods from artisans and makes them available to buyers online. With this support, she was able to reach a much larger market and earn enough to expand her business so that she now has 10 employees. Other women who have been able to improve their quality of life include Francisca, a Nicaraguan woman who was able to build a home for her family with the support of Global Partnership’s Home Improvement Finance Initiative.