Sex disaggregated data to inform policy development-BOZ

Bank of Zambia (BoZ) says collection of sex disaggregated data to determine levels of access, usage and quality of financial services will assist to develop policies aimed to increase women’s financial inclusion.

Bank of Zambia Deputy Governor Dr. Tukiya Kankasa Mabula said this during the Dissemination of Results of a Baseline Survey for collection of Sex Disaggregated Data held at Radisson Blu in Lusaka on the 2nd May, 2019.

BoZ partnered with the Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI), Financial Sector Deepening Zambia (FSDZ) and the Rural Finance Expansion Programme (RUFEP) to conduct the Baseline Survey.

Speaking when officially opening the Stakeholders Dissemination Workshop, Dr. Mabula said sex disaggregated data helps not only to identify barriers to women’s financial inclusion but also assists to modify existing policies, strategies and regulatory measures for increasing women’s financial inclusion.

“Collection of sex disaggregated data and use of this data provides an opportunity for countries to develop policies that specifically target women’s financial inclusion and provides data and information for financial service providers to develop products and services for women”, she said.

Giving highlights of the findings of the Baseline  Survey, Dr. Mabula disclosed that while women were better savers and less likely to default on paying back loans than men, they have limited access to financial services (savings, loans, etc) as compared to men.

She urged financial institutions to put greater emphasis on market segmentation and devise age and gender specific products and services adding that the rise in the use of mobile money holds a great potential to increase financial inclusion for women.

Speaking earlier during the introductory remarks, BoZ Director for Non-Bank Financial Institutions Supervision Ms. Freda Tamba disclosed that AFI approached Bank of Zambia to support any programme on financial inclusion considered as a priority by the Central Bank.

Ms. Tamba said BoZ decided to undertake a strategic objective of closing the gender gap in terms of access and usage of financial services between men and women as revealed by the Finscope Zambia 2015 Survey.

For this reason, she said BoZ undertook the Baseline Survey on sex disaggregated data to inform policy and interventions for increasing financial inclusion on women.

Giving remarks by support institutions, RUFEP Programme Coordinator Michael Mbulo said the dissemination of sex disaggregated data provides a key milestone towards increasing access and usage of financial services and products and reducing financial inclusion gender gap.

Mr. Mbulo said interventions from the baseline survey will inform evidence based policy making that will lead to increased financial inclusion for poor rural men, women and youths in Zambia.

“RUFEP supported BoZ as a Strategic Partner on this project as it provides a great opportunity for developing a framework for collection and analysis of data on the supply side in terms of sex disaggregated data on financial inclusion. Our support to Bank of Zambia will contribute to the achievement of our goals for the programme”, he said.

And FSDZ Chief Executive Officer Betty Wilkinson said her organization was happy to support the project which aimed to provide insights on what was happening in Zambia in terms of gender and financial inclusion adding that the only way to improve on financial inclusion in terms of gender was to understand the existing situation.