Empowering Rural Women Through Financial Inclusion:
The Key to Unlocking Potential

March 8, 2023

March the 08th, 2023 is International Women’s Day and we at Empowch wish to recognize three critically important women in Empowch. Our co-founder, Bethany, our Marketing and communications director, Andrea and our founder Moataz’s mother who has inspired the creation of Empowch.  

International Women’s Day is a globally recognized event that is dedicated to recognizing the achievements of women throughout history and raising awareness of the ongoing struggle for gender equality. The theme for International Women’s Day 2023 is “Choose to Challenge,” which encourages individuals to challenge gender bias and inequality. 

The International Women’s Day website (https://www.internationalwomensday.com/) serves as a platform for sharing stories, resources, and events related to Women’s Day. It is an excellent resource for individuals who want to learn more about Women’s Day and get involved in the movement for gender equality. 

Rural women are among the most marginalized communities in the world. They face numerous challenges in their daily lives due to their gender, location, and socio-economic status. Despite making up nearly half of the global agricultural workforce, they often lack access to resources, services, and information that could help them improve their livelihoods and secure a better future for themselves and their families. 

One of the key challenges that rural women face is financial exclusion. According to the World Bank, around 1.4 billion adults globally do not have access to traditional financial services, such as savings accounts, loans, insurance, and payment systems. This includes many rural women who rely on cash transactions and informal financial networks, which can be unreliable, expensive, slow, unsafe, and inefficient. 

Financial inclusion, which refers to the provision of affordable, accessible, and appropriate financial services to all members of society, is crucial for empowering rural women and unlocking their potential. It can help them save money, invest in their businesses, access credit, manage risks, and improve their overall well-being. 

Recognizing the importance of financial inclusion, the World Bank has set a goal to achieve universal financial access by 2025. This involves working with governments, financial institutions, and other stakeholders to expand financial services to underserved populations, including rural women. 

One organization that is making a difference in this area is Empowch, a mobile-first, blockchain-powered payments and financial services platform. Inspired by the struggle our co-founder, Moataz had sending money to his mother in rural Lebanon, Moataz realized the need for a simple, secure, and affordable way to send and receive money and access financial services in remote areas. 

Empowch aims to bridge the gap between traditional financial systems and the informal economy by leveraging mobile technology and blockchain. Its platform allows users to send and receive money, pay bills, buy airtime, and access other financial services using their mobile phones, without the need for a bank account. 

By providing a digital platform that is accessible and convenient, Empowch is empowering rural women to take control of their finances and improve their livelihoods. It is also helping to promote financial inclusion and economic growth in underserved areas, which can have ripple effects on the broader community. 

However, financial inclusion alone is not enough to address the complex challenges faced by rural women. They also need access to education, healthcare, infrastructure, and other essential services that can help them overcome barriers and realize their full potential. This requires a holistic and multi-dimensional approach that considers the diverse needs and aspirations of rural women and their communities. 

Rural women are some of the most marginalized communities in the world, and financial inclusion is a key accelerator to their empowerment. Through innovative solutions like Empowch, we can create more opportunities for rural women to access financial services and improve their livelihoods. However, we must also recognize the broader systemic barriers that prevent them from thriving and work together to create a more equitable and inclusive world.

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