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International Women’s Day – Papers highlighting the Gender-Finance equation

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Today marks the International Women’s Day, a day to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women across countries and communities. The day is also about reinforcing the need for and importance of achieving gender parity in everyday life – of which finance, as an instrument, is a critical component.

To mark the occasion we share below a few publications/reports that throw light on the gender-finance equation. If you have a favourite paper or publication that needs to be on this list, please do share in the comments section below.

A Buck Short

The report takes the reader through the financial lives of women in Low-Income households from India, Kenya and Mexico as well as explores the regulatory and provider level challenges and solutions. The use of financial diaries to uncover monetary decision undertaken by the households within the tight frame of social and cultural norms adds more nuance to existing understanding of their financial aspirations, behaviours and resource allocations across time, space, and states of the world.

Spousal Control and Intra-Household Decision Making: An Experimental Study in the Philippines

Little is known about how communication between spouses influences financial decisions, and if women and men allocate money differently when they have decision-making power. In this study, married couples in the Philippines were randomly assigned to one of four groups to evaluate how information and communication affect how money is allocated in the household.

Grandmothers and Granddaughters: Old Age Pension and Intra household Allocation in South Africa

The paper studies whether the impact of a cash transfer on child nutritional status is affected by the gender of its recipient. The paper suggests that the household does not function as a unitary entity, and that the efficiency of public transfer programs may depend on the gender of the recipient.

On Her Account: Can Strengthening Women’s Financial Control Boost Female Labor Supply?

In collaboration with the state government of Madhya Pradesh, the authors offered women individual bank accounts to evaluate the impact of increasing women’s financial control on labor market participation and earnings. Linking earnings from a government workfare program to women’s bank accounts led to increased employment both within the program and in the private sector. Women who had previously been the least involved in the labor market and whose husbands expressed the most opposition to females working experienced the largest impacts.

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