This document presents a two-page issue brief targeting US government policy: CARE's twenty years of experience proves that access to financial services for women?also known as financial inclusion?has far-reaching benefits to families and communities. CARE has made a strategic investment in increasing access to savings-led financial services in Africa [and] is working to remove some of these barriers and create ways to empower women through economic opportunities. 54,000 Village Savings and Loans Associations have been launched by CARE in 21 African countries, serving more than 1.9 million members, nearly all of them women.
- CARE's twenty years of experience proves that access to financial services for women -- also known as financial inclusion -- has far-reaching benefits to families and communities. Economically empowered women have enhanced land and property rights, better job opportunities, improved wages and healthier families.
- The United States can play a leadership role in encouraging governments in developing countries to include women in financial policies and economic opportunities.
- Policies promoting the economic empowerment of women will create a pathway to financial inclusion. These policies include Ensuring that U.S. government funds reach the poorest of the poor and focus funding in areas where the need for financial services are the greatest, Offering a full suite of financial services -- with a special emphasis on savings, as well as credit and other financial services -- targeted to the most poor and vulnerable populations, and Supporting organizations that focus on providing women access to economic opportunities through savings and asset building approaches.