How specially designed financial products for Women can play role in gender equality and women empowerment?

In almost all the financial products women have been conflated with ‘family’ and considered merely as an avenue to pursue social welfare measures. In the modern 21st century India, there is a need to consider women as a distinct segment with specific financial services requirements.

The change can be brought in only when the myriad social and behavioral impediments impacting women is studied and this knowledge is used to design customized financial product offerings.

How to design financial products for women?

  • Innumeracy or mathematical illiteracy often is a handicap for women. This has been exploited many times. Hence there is a need to actively employ oral informational management tools such that these women can transact independently.
  • Women prefer to learn and work with peers. Hence collaborative models need to be developed. This collaborative approach would aid in reducing financial risk within a peer group and helps pool resources like time and labour.
  • Women take more time to develop trust. Financial service providers must provide women agents to deal with women centric products.
  • Women-owned enterprises have stronger repayment records with non-performing loans being 30-50% lower than male entrepreneurs. This also provides with a likelihood opportunity of more trustworthy business from women.
  • Women-led micro enterprises expect much more than the delivery of financial products like business advisory support in managerial capacity-building, bookkeeping, technological upgradation, skill development, and legal procedures to scale-up their businesses.
  • Women-led micro and small enterprises also struggle to formally register their enterprises. This restricts their business development activities and engagement with e-commerce distribution channels.

Financial empowerment is a key component for women empowerment. Hence, a financial product which would address all these fronts will provide great dividends both economic and social.


Leave a Reply