THE International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, has launched in Dar es Salaam the ‘Finance2Equal Tanzania Initiative’ aimed at increasing women’s participation across businesses by reducing gender gaps.
IFC Regional Gender Leader for Africa, Anne Kabugi unveiled to ‘Daily News’ on Thursday that the gaps to be reduced were in leadership, employment, access to financial products and services and as entrepreneurs in corporate supply chains.
IFC will host the programme’s secretariat building on existing tools, expertise and experience to implement the ‘Finance2Equal peer-learning platform’, involving 10-15 local companies working to catalyse the adoption of gender-smart solutions in their businesses.
Mr Dan Kasiyre, IFC Resident Representative for Tanzania and Uganda had this to say on the initiative: “The financial services sector is the backbone of economic growth and the inclusion of women is critical to ensure increased participation and a reduction in gender gaps in access to jobs and assets. Our work with private sector companies has shown that reducing gender gaps results in better outcomes for businesses, economies and women.” Studies show that only 12 per cent of women in Tanzania have a bank account or use banking services.
While about 50 per cent of women use formal non-banking channels such as microfinance and mobile money, leaving the rest of the women to rely on informal services or remain financially excluded.
Similarly, persistent gaps remain at the corporate leadership level, with only 35 per cent of women in managerial positions and only 13 per cent on boards.
Ms Kabugi noted that the participating companies would commit to implementing at least two gender-smart strategies on recruitment, retention and promotion of women, rolling out women-centric products and services, diversification of supply chains and sex-disaggregating portfolio data, while communicating about these initiatives.