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The Network has embarked on a collaborative programme to accelerate the pace of gender equity in finance in Africa, building our capacities to fully integrate gender into our work and demonstrating impact pathways through innovative on-the-ground work with policymakers, researchers, and service providers.

By 2025, this initiative aims to deliver at least:


more women being included and active in inclusive financial systems

The Network’s Gender Programme seeks to push beyond surface-level gender engagements, trying bold approaches to reduce women’s social, structural and physical barriers to finance. We will introduce service innovations that really matter for meeting women’s economic needs, in the context of our new, Network-wide strategic approach. This is built around strengthening linkages between finance and the real economy, aiming to deliver greater impact on the economic well-being of ordinary people.

Our gender programme works to mainstream gender into FSD operations and build FSDs’ capacities to deliver systemic gender impacts. We are also building the gender understanding and implementation abilities of key market actors, like service providers and policymakers, to sustain this kind of systemic change. Together with partners, we will work to overcome the policy, regulatory, infrastructure, service provision and norms-related barriers that prevent women from fully benefiting from expanding financial access in their countries. Determining exactly how to do this well is an intrinsic part of the programme. We are learning experientially with local partners, guided by a Network-wide learning agenda.

Our gender collaborative programme is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

For more information about the Gender Programme, please contact Sophie Mills:

The gender programme is a knowledge partner of FinEquity Africa, a regional community of practice that promotes equitable access to and use of a wide range of financial services across Africa by accelerating knowledge generation, fostering best practices and encouraging sector collaboration. For more information about this work and the available resources sign up to FinEquity Africa’s mailing list here

The FSD Network is a global partner of the Women’s Digital Financial Inclusion Advocacy Hub, led by Women’s World Banking and the United Nations Capital Development Fund. The Hub is a catalyst for collective action unifying local, regional, and global stakeholders with the common objective of accelerating progress in Women’s Digital Financial Inclusion.