Over the years, the microfinance industry in the Arab region has experienced significant developments aiming to contribute to poverty alleviation, achieve broad-based economic development and improve access to finance which ultimately advance financial inclusion and help in achieving several goals of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The world over, it has been observed that as microfinance institutions grow and begin to achieve huge scale in terms of outreach of loans to low income segments of the society, challenges related to how to secure financing in the amounts needed and under acceptable terms become more & more apparent. Needed are also ancillary services like rating agencies, training opportunities, social investors etc. An investment forum under such circumstances is a viable platform where all related institutions converge and explore what is feasible and what could be improved and rolled out.
Does access to finance lead to women’s political empowerment?
Despite the great strides being made globally towards gender equality, the full economic and political empowerment of women remains elusive. Men still outnumber women in decision-making roles and vastly outnumber women in legislatures around the world.