A not-for-profit group, Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, has called for concerted efforts to eliminate the gender gap in access to financial services in Nigeria.
During a webinar organised by the Gender Centre of Excellence, the civic group said that ensuring financial inclusion for women requires broad-based institutional reforms that put gender equality on the front burner.
The group said individuals and institutions were evolving and recognising that biases, stereotyping, and discrimination do exist and have negative impacts on overall development as individuals and society.
The webinar, which was held to mark this year’s International Women’s Day, was organised in collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria, Enhancing Financial Innovation and Access, Lagos Business School, and Women’s World Banking.
The webinar featured contributions from key experts in different sectors who made submissions on ways to tackle the systemic biases that exist within individuals and the financial services sector.
Gender Lead, Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, Loise Maina, said there was a need for an integrated approach as the ‘one-size-fits-all approach’ might not work given the various dynamics at play.
According to Senior Relationship Manager, Women’s World Banking, Emezino Afiegbe, there is a need for leadership imperatives that promote equitable participation of women and men in critical sectors.
The Chief Executive Officer, EFInA, Ashely Immanuel, said there should be the provision of enabling environment for women-led MSMEs, and the knowledge capital required to address barriers to accessing and using formal financial services.
Associate Dean and Professor of Information Systems, Lagos Business School, Olayinka David-West, emphasised the need to support women in more senior roles through workplace training and mentorship programmes, and the use of positive role models.