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International Women's Week!

Women make up approximately half of the world's population (50.5% in Uganda; World Bank) but remain significantly disadvantaged in many parts of the world. A number of our partners have proposed to be more inclusive. Gender considerations are a key focus area in engagements that Quad Tee takes on. Why?

Gender Inequality

Women in Uganda often face significant social and economic barriers that make it harder for them to access financial services. UN Women (the UN entity dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women) recognizes that Gender equality is not only a basic human right, but its achievement has enormous socio-economic ramifications. Empowering women fuels thriving economies, spurring productivity and growth. Yet gender inequalities remain deeply entrenched in every society.

Poverty

Economic Development

Inclusive Finance



In recognition of these factors, many organisations in Uganda have developed inclusive finance programs that focus specifically on women. These are delivered through financial institutions at the grassroots level such as micro-finance institutions and savings groups, as well as larger commercial players. These programs provide women with access to credit, savings, and other financial services that can help them overcome the barriers they face and achieve financial security and independence.


Quad Tee is proud to be working with clients who are promoting gender-inclusive initiatives and fighting for a robust financial ecosystem.


 

Before entering into the gender dialogue, it is important to sensitise oneself to the terms and definitions within it.


Some key concepts included in Mercy Corps Agrifin Gender Transformative Toolkit on women and gender include:


Gender refers to the characteristics of women, men, girls and boys that are socially constructed. This includes norms, behaviours and roles associated with being a woman, man, girl or boy, as well as relationships with each other. As a social construct, it varies across societies and over time. Gender is a relational concept that is best understood by examining interactions between individuals and social groups.


The gender gap refers to the disparity in men and women’s social, political, intellectual, cultural and/or economic conditions or positions in society, often based on underlying sociocultural norms. It reflects the unequal distribution of resources, opportunities and outcomes across genders. For instance, women smallholder farmers have less access to digital financial services indicating a gender gap in access to resources.


Gender-based constraints refer to formal laws, attitudes, perceptions, values, or practices that limit people’s access to resources and/or opportunities based on their sex or gender identity. For instance, cultural norms that limit women’s ownership of agricultural land are gender-based constraints.


Gender mainstreaming/integration is a process that involves the embedding of a gender perspective into the entire spectrum of an organisation’s activities including its strategies, structures, policies, culture, systems and operations. It ensures that the needs and interests of all genders are included in the design, implementation, and of any planned activity.


Gender intentional refers to a gender-aware organisation that designs its products, service lines, and/or investments to reduce barriers in access to resources across genders or to increase the information base and awareness around gender gaps. For instance, an agri-input loan provider designs shorter tenure loans linked to savings products to cater to the researched needs of female smallholder farmers.


Gender unintentional refers to an organisation that does not integrate a gender lens and does not target gender gaps in its strategies, investments, product design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation, internal structures and organization culture. For instance, an agri-input loan provider which does not consider the differences in borrowing behaviour and needs of women while designing credit products and acquiring customers.


Gender transformative refers to an organisation that aims to achieve gender empowerment and equity and designs its products, service lines, and/or investments to reduce barriers in not only access to resources but also in agency and control over resources. For instance, an agri-input loan provider can incorporate strategies to reach out to include women smallholder customers to make the final decision on loan disbursal after approval without spousal consent.



 

This #InternationalWomensWeek, we celebrate the clients we have worked with who strive for and recognise the importance of gender-inclusive finance, and we look forward to the projects we are yet to take on in this space!


"As women in Africa become less financially dependent on their male counterparts and rise to take on a more inclusive role in growing their individual economic environments, Africa will begin to move forward."


Rose Kariuki, COO, Quad Tee



We intend to publish a monthly blog to the Quad Tee website that deep dive into the space of work in which we are consulting.


Stay tuned for more!


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