How do you receive and track your money? When you need to pay your bills, how do you to it? How do you get money to someone fast? For many people, these questions have simple answers: check your bank statement on your phone; pay your bill online; transfer the money on an app.
While these services may seem like a given, they’re still out of reach for millions of women worldwide. Discrimination often prevents women from accessing or using these financial services. In an increasingly digital world, digital financial inclusion has a huge impact on someone’s ability to escape poverty.
That’s why, at the G7 Finance Ministerial, we made our voices heard and demanded funding for digital financial inclusion. Luckily, we had a few extra, incredible voices in this fight!
Melinda Gates’ important question
We’re partnering with @melindagates to help bring your voices to the @G7 Finance Ministerial next week: Tell us, why do you think it’s important for women to control their finances? #ProgressNotPromises #G7France pic.twitter.com/f2yJeFAhMY
— ONE (@ONECampaign) July 11, 2019
Ahead of the ministerial, we partnered with Melinda Gates to ask our followers on social media, “what are the biggest barriers you face to financial opportunity?”
In advance of the #G7 Finance Ministers meeting, I’m asking women around the world to share their perspectives: what are the biggest barriers you face to financial opportunity?
I look forward to reading your responses and bringing your ideas to the meeting.
— Melinda Gates (@melindagates) July 10, 2019
Hundreds of people responded across her posts, including several of our Open Letter co-signers. Each of those comments demonstrated how this problem affects women worldwide, and it needs to be taken seriously.
“This (digital financial services) is one of the most practical ways to help the world’s poorest people, strengthen their economies, and fight inequalities holding their countries back,” says Melinda Gates.
At the Finance Ministerial
When ministers met in Chantilly, the demand for digital financial inclusion was loud and clear.
Melinda Gates, armed with the responses she received, met with ministers. She sought to represent the voices of those who are affected by digital exclusion, urging leaders to make a change.
Many of our Youth Ambassadors were also on the ground. Throughout the Ministerial, they could be seen handing out fake dollar bills, hanging up posters, and covering the city with stickers. Their message became clear to everyone in Chantilly: we can’t have gender equality without digital inclusion.
Our Youth Ambassadors and @ONE_Fr team are out in full force at the #G7Finance Ministerial! #G7France should help enable every woman to control her future. #ProgressNotPromises https://t.co/LbHY8ob8lb https://t.co/gdplfW7gk6
— ONE (@ONECampaign) July 17, 2019
Getting Closer to Our Goal
This activism, both online and in-person, led to some pretty impressive results. France, the UK, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation all committed to funding the fight for digital inclusion! This funding will help ensure that women everywhere will have access to essential digital services.
While this is incredible news, the fight isn’t over just yet. These commitments are still only 46% of what we need to fully fund this initiative. That means we have until the end of the month to get all world leaders to make their pledges.
If we can get everyone equal access to digital financial services, we’ll be even closer to ending extreme poverty. On top of that, we’ll be closer to achieving gender equality, too! If world leaders commit to this initiative at the G7 Summit this month, they will be committing to a better, more financially stable future for all.