Women in Supply Chains: On the Frontlines of COVID-19’s Impact

The COVID-19 pandemic has quickly transformed from a global health crisis into a financial crisis, particularly for low-income female workers in global supply chains. However, companies can effectively deploy preventative measures to support workers and workplaces to protect their health and strengthen their financial resilience. Developing countries—where many supply chain production sites are located—are not equipped with the economic resources and medical facilities and commodities required to mount an effective

What If All Garment Workers in Bangladesh Were Financially Included?

Wage digitization of low-income populations has the potential to be a win-win opportunity that can deliver both social and economic progress. For workers, especially women, it can mean the chance to open a financial account, potentially leading to greater economic empowerment. For global buyers, it can mean efficiency savings and increased transparency in global supply chains, and for financial service providers, a new active market segment.At HERproject, we believe a

We Need to Talk About Financial Inclusion for Women

There was a disturbing revelation in the Global Findex Report which was published in April. Aside from disclosing that financial inclusion levels had stalled and are in decline, it also revealed that women were being excluded twice as fast as men. The Global Findex report suggests that “any effort to increase overall account ownership in [Nigeria] needs to prioritize financial inclusion for women.” We agree for several reasons. Prioritizing women’s

Activating a Network of 4 Million: Community Health Workers are Key to Fighting COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has elevated and transformed the role of community health workers, demonstrating their vital role in public health. But BRAC’s new initiative to digitize payments to its 50,000 community health workers in Bangladesh also underscores their potential as proponents of financial access — with enormous implications for global financial inclusion. Community health workers have an extraordinary global presence and impact. The World Health Organization estimates there are more than 4 million community

A Digital Lifeline in a Public Health Crisis

As the COVID-19 pandemic sent shockwaves around the world, policymakers have been scrambling to adapt responses in a rapidly evolving context. In a country like Bangladesh, for example, where 85 percent of the population earns less than $5.90 a day, government-imposed lockdowns have quickly transformed from public health measures into full-blown humanitarian crises: Bangladesh’s vast informal economy accounts for 9 out of every 10 jobs, so the devastating effects of lockdown

Bangladesh’s COVID-19 Response Is Taking Digital Finance to New Levels

COVID-19 has accelerated the use of digital financial services around the world. For many low-income households, the ability to tap into financial resources from social networks and receive cash transfers has determined whether there is food on the table. . . .   Bangladesh’s well-developed digital financial services ecosystem, particularly its grassroots network of mobile money agents, has enabled millions of financial transfers at times when physical movement has been difficult. Rough