Migration, Remittances and Financial Inclusion: Challenges and Opportunities for Women’s Economic Empowerment

Date published: August 10, 2017
Downloads: 132 Publisher: Global Migration Group

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This report looks at current and future possibilities for women’s economic empowerment through increased financial inclusion, by adopting a gender lens to address and examine financial inclusion policies, strategies, and remittance service providers (RSPs). The report addresses the gendered financial challenges and opportunities faced by migrant women and their families, as well as the gendered practices and costs of sending and receiving remittances. Highlighted are the different strategies (both formal and informal) through which women and their families can be supported, including those that may fall outside of the scope of RSPs. Further, this report outlines barriers to women’s financial inclusion, and identifies opportunities to remove these for disenfranchised migrant and remittance-receiving populations, specifically women. In this context, concrete recommendations are provided to RSPs, governments, and NGOs on ways to enhance financial inclusion, and seize the potential for empowerment through gender-responsive policies and frameworks. The report also aims to understand how RSPs, their platforms, and payment networks can contribute to financial inclusion (including through reducing transaction costs) for migrant women and their families, by examining how remittance platforms are affecting women’s
economic empowerment in both country of origin and destination, and what policy options might improve this situation. Adopting a gender perspective involves taking into account the specific and different needs of women and men, and is concerned with addressing these different needs in order to allow men and women to fully enjoy their human rights. This report considers the macro-level impacts of gender on financial inclusion, including structural and global-level elements (feminization of migration, sexual divisions of labour under contemporary capitalism, etc.), meso-level elements such as gendered social norms or expectations and state social protections, and microlevel considerations of migrant remittance sending and spending patterns. By adopting this framework, this report positions financial inclusion and remittances against a broader backdrop of human security, rights and social protection.