Even after various initiatives rural population especially women are out the digital financial ecosystem. What steps do you think should be taken for the inclusion of rural women in the digital financial ecosystem?
Financial inclusion suffers from two major divides in India rural and gender. Government has been making efforts to fill these gaps through mandatory branches in rural areas, Business Correspondents and recently digital financial services to harness the growing mobile penetration in the country.
Women in rural areas are more prone to gender based social and cultural barriers, have low literacy rate, low income which limits their access to digital financial services.
Pradhan Mantri Dhan Jan Yojana led to increase in bank acoounts in the name of women, in order to increase inclusion of women in digital financial ecosystem:
a)Banks should make an effort to increase overall access to financial services like insurance, credit to rural women.
b) Awareness about accessing bank accounts, credit rating, debit and savings accounts, insurance and recurring deposits, UPI, Bank PoS machines, etc, should be disseminated in the simplest way possible to facilitate easy access by rural women.
c)At block and village levels common service centres (CSCs), could also take on the role of ‘digital financial education hubs’ to address practical issues in accessing financial services
d)Financial literacy and credit counselling centres should be set up in all districts by regional rural banks with extension service counters at the block level with women counsellors at the centres for rural women to easily approach them.
e)Programmes for promotion of digital literacy among rural areas should be more focused on raising literacy among women and girls who are doubly disadvantaged.Providing practical training on accessing comprehensive financial services like opening bank accounts, accessing mobile banking and digital money, availing micro credit, insurance and pension, etc, through initiatives such as digital literacy camps can help women inclusion in Digital India.
Financial Inclusion holds immense economic and social growth potential, which needs to be reaped by all for an inclusive growth.
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