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Showing posts from May, 2016

Digital Finance in Bangladesh: Empowering or Excluding Women?

This article is part of a series of Blogposts by Parul Agarwal and Suraj Nair on the progress of digital financial services in Bangladesh. It draws on discussions held at a seminar on the subject in Dhaka in April 2016. The seminar was organized by BRAC Social Innovation Lab, Access to Information (a2iand USAID’s mSTAR project implemented by FHI 360. IFMR LEAD was the Knowledge Partner for the event. 

In the fast developing and rapidly expanding digital financial services landscape of Bangladesh, the number of women users - particularly users of Mobile Financial Services (MFS) continues to remain very low [1]. Addressing this involuntary exclusion by expanding women’s access to MFS is a policy priority, for the government and central bank of Bangladesh. Meanwhile, policymakers, practitioners and other stakeholders have been grappling with the question of whether gender gaps could in fact be perpetuated through the use of mobile-based platforms –after all, it is most often the male me…