Women and Financial Education

Women and Financial Education

Evidence, Policy Responses and Guidance You do not have access to this content

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Author(s):
OECD
Publication Date :
16 Oct 2013
Pages :
100
ISBN :
9789264202733 (PDF) ; 9789264202726 (print)
DOI :
10.1787/9789264202733-en

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Gender equality in terms of economic and financial opportunities is becoming increasingly relevant at both national and international level. The need to address the financial literacy of women and girls as a way to improve their financial empowerment, opportunities, and well-being has been acknowledged by the G20 Leader’s Declaration in June 2012, as well as part of a wider horizontal OECD project on gender equality. The OECD International Network on Financial Education (INFE) established a dedicated workstream in 2010 to address the needs of women for financial education under the support of the Russia/World Bank/OECD Trust Fund for financial literacy and education.

This book collects the work carried out within this workstream, including policy guidance to help policy makers address women's and girls' needs for financial education, and a comprehensive analysis of the current status of knowledge on gender differences in financial literacy and policy responses in terms of financial education for women and girls.

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  • Click to Access:  Foreword

    The need to address the financial literacy of women and girls as a way to improve their financial empowerment, opportunities, and well-being has been acknowledged at the national and international levels. At their Summit in June 2012, G20 Leaders recognised the need for women and youth to gain access to financial services and financial education. G20 Leaders have further asked the Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion (GPFI), the OECD International Network on Financial Education (INFE), and the World Bank to identify barriers that women may face and called for a progress report by the 2013 Summit.

  • Click to Access:  Acronyms and abbreviations
  • Click to Access:  Executive summary

    Women’s economic and financial opportunities are becoming increasingly relevant at both national and international level. The importance of addressing the financial literacy of women and girls as a way to improve their financial empowerment, opportunities, and well-being has been acknowledged by the G20 Leader’s Declaration in June 2012, recognising the need for women and youth to gain access to financial services and financial education. Gender equality in economic and financial terms is at the core of an OECD horizontal project that culminated with the approval of the Recommendation of the Council on Gender Equality in Education, Employment and Entrepreneurship in May 2013. Under the Russian Trust Fund for Financial Literacy and Education, the OECD International Network on Financial Education (INFE) established in 2010 a dedicated workstream and expert subgroup to address the needs of women for financial education.

  • Click to Access:  Introduction

    Both women and men need to be sufficiently financially literate to effectively participate in economic activities and to take appropriate financial decisions for themselves and their families. However, women often have less financial knowledge and lower access to formal financial products than men. As a result, women need to improve their financial literacy even more than men in order to address the challenges they face in achieving financial well-being.

  • Click to Access:  Gender differences in financial literacy

    This chapter reviews and analyses evidence on gender differences in financial knowledge, attitudes, and behaviours from a wide variety of sources, including the OECD/INFE financial literacy survey. Women display lower financial knowledge than men in a large number of developed and developing countries. Young women, widows, less well-educated and low-income women lack financial knowledge the most. Available evidence of financial attitudes suggests that women are less confident then men in their financial knowledge and skills, less over-confident in financial matters, and more averse to financial risk. In terms of financial behaviour, women appear to be better than men at keeping track of their finances, but have difficulties in making ends meet, in saving and in choosing financial products appropriately. Future research should investigate further the relation across gender differences in financial knowledge, attitudes and behaviours, and especially the ability of men and women to manage and save money in the short and long term.

  • Click to Access:  Barriers to women's financial empowerment and factors affecting gender differences in financial literacy

    The existence of gender differences in financial literacy calls for a better understanding of the factors affecting women’s financial literacy with respect to men’s. A number of factors are likely to not only reduce women’s financial well-being per se, but also to limit the extent to which women can improve their knowledge, confidence and skills about economic and financial issues, including:A more limited access to education, employment, entrepreneurship for women than for men.Lower financial inclusion and access to formal financial markets for women than for men.The existence of different social attitudes and legal treatment towards men and women in many countries.

  • Click to Access:  Addressing women's financial education needs through policies and dedicated programmes

    Gender differences in financial literacy pose challenges to improving women’s financial well-being. Various governments and other stakeholders have addressed these challenges by developing financial education policies and programmes for women and girls. Such initiatives aim at: Addressing the needs of specific subgroups, i.e. young and old women, low-income and other marginalised groups of women, and female micro and small entrepreneurs; andImproving women’s strategies in dealing with various financial matters, including improving financial inclusion and especially the use of formal savings products, preventing over-indebtedness, helping women planning for retirement, and supporting female entrepreneurship. A growing number of impact evaluation exercises show that well designed programmes are successful in raising women’s financial literacy and inclusion.

  • Click to Access:  Financial education for women: Challenges and lessons learnt

    The analysis of the evidence and policy initiatives revealed a number of challenges and lessons in the development and implementation of financial education initiatives for women and girls.The main challenges have to do with changing social and cultural attitudes that may limit financial independence, as well as difficulties in reaching women and delivering relevant and efficient material and messages.At the same time, existing programmes highlighted some key lessons, including the importance to address women’s overall socio-economic empowerment, and to adapt the learning environment to women’s preferences

  • Click to Access:  OECD/INFE Policy Guidance on Addressing Women's and Girls' Needs for Financial Awareness and Education

    In October 2010, the OECD International Network on Financial EducationIncluding 107 countries from 240 public authorities. All CMF and IPPC delegates are members ex officio. (INFE) established an expert subgroup on Empowering Women through Financial Education and Awareness, recognising that women have specific financial literacy needs and are often over-represented in disadvantaged segments in developed and developing countries. The INFE and this dedicated subgroup aim at developing research and evidence-based policy analysis to better understand women’s specificities vis-à-vis financial literacy in various national contexts and elaborate guidance to help policy makers and interested stakeholders strengthening women’s competencies in this area.

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