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Oxford Univ calls for better financial inclusion for women worldwide

Updated: May 16, 2014 12:14:34pm
New Delhi, May 16 (KNN)  Advocating better financial inclusion for women worldwide, the Said Business School, University of Oxford has made three initiatives to urge greater access to finance for women.
The initiatives include a global e-discussion co-hosted by UN Women beginning May-14; the second annual Power Shift Forum to take place in Oxford from May 27-29; and the launch of a petition to make increasing women’s financial inclusion one of the post-2015 Millennium Development Goals, a press release said.
Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford, Andrew Hamilton, and Dean, Saïd Business School, Peter Tufano will be the first signatories to the petition, which will be delivered to the UN in New York, it said.
Commenting on the initiatives, “Women comprise half the world’s population but still face unequal economic opportunity, from subtle marginalisation to violent exclusion,” said Linda Scott from Saïd Business School, one of the founders of Power Shift.
“In developing economies women are 20 per cent less likely than men to have a bank account; in both developed and developing countries, women have lower financial literacy levels than men; there is a USD 285 billion gender gap in capital access for women-owned businesses; and women are massively under-represented in financial sector jobs – even more so in the top ranks. Gender inequality sets up economies to fail, but appropriate financial services can help improve family welfare and spur small enterprise activity, helping economies to grow faster and reduce income inequality,” she added.
Thousands of people from all over the world are expected to join the e-discussion – ‘Make Financial Markets Work for Women.’  It is open to all and participants can register at Knowledge Gateway for Women’s Economic Empowerment.
The 2014 Power Shift Forum at Saïd Business School will investigate the relationship between women and the world of finance, and develop an action research agenda for governments, NGOs, and companies that want to support women’s inclusion in finance around the world. A range of leading academics, investors, financial institutions, advisers and entrepreneurs will examine the conditions for women-owned businesses seeking capital, whether as debt or equity, as well as other finance-related issues, such as women and consumer credit, savings accounts, inheritance law, philanthropy, careers in finance, and pyramid schemes. It will aim to uncover exclusionary practices, identify effective reforms, and celebrate champions of change.
During the Power Shift Forum, academicians from the University will take the lead in signing a petition to world leaders to make financial inclusion for women a global imperative and to include it in the post-2015 Millennium Development Goals.
This launch will be live-streamed on the UN Women e-discussion site. Participants will sign the petition during the Forum, and people worldwide will be able to sign digitally at a petition website to be announced by the Saïd Business School.  The final petition will be delivered to the UN.  (KNN/ES)


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