Zambia’s Gender Data Journey
For many years, the Central Bank of Zambia and other key stakeholders have been working towards financial inclusion and gender equality. And although Zambia had made progress on financial inclusion, 2015 Finscope data showed that women were still more likely than men to be financially excluded.
The Bank of Zambia (BoZ) realized that establishing specific recommendations and policies could help bridge this gender gap in access and use of financial services. But to do so, they first needed gender data to inform those policies (Box 1). Key stakeholders agreed that the collection and use of more reliable, high-quality data would allow them to understand where the country was in its financial inclusion journey and focus on the right steps to reach their goals. Through the execution of a grant received from the Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI), funded by the Women’s Financial Inclusion Data (WFID) Partnership, and additional financial and technical support from Financial Sector Deepening Zambia and the Rural Finance Expansion Programme, the Bank of Zambia implemented a two-year program in 2018 to develop a framework for collecting and using supply-side sex-disaggregated financial data for policymaking.
With commitment from leadership, a dedicated team, stakeholder engagement, and the support of donors and partners, BoZ developed the initial version of the data framework and is piloting it with financial institutions. As BoZ continues down this road, the Central Bank is sharing its process and tactics, insights and lessons, and its gender data-driven roadmap for the future of women’s financial inclusion. This case study is among the many initiatives to drive awareness and better usage of sex disaggregated data for increased women’s financial inclusion.