Women and Financial Education

Evidence, Policy Responses and Guidance

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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.



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.


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