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Parliamentarian Action #5 | Alternative Approaches to Collateral to Increase Women’s Access to Rural and Agricultural Finance

June 29, 2021 3:30 pm - 6:00 pm CEST

(Open to public)

Virtual dialogue series event details

Agricultural lending is considered "high risk" by formal financial institutions, as farmers are more vulnerable to changes in weather, rainfall levels, pests, and infestations, as well as price fluctuations. As a result of these perceived and actual risks, loans for smallholder farmers require high rates of collateral. This situation is exacerbated for rural women, who often do not inherit and possess assets or properties that can be accepted by formal financial institutions as conventional forms of collateral.

This virtual dialogue of the Parliamentarians Actions for Gender Equality and Resilient Food Systems in Response to Covid-19 series brought together parliamentarians, financial institutions, and other main stakeholders to discuss the importance of developing alternative approaches for risk sharing and management that can increase women’s access to finance through alternative collateral requirements.

This dialogue sought to:

1) Raise awareness on the specific constraints and challenges faced by rural women in accessing finance along with their interlinkages with rural poverty and food insecurity, as well as potential opportunities to ensure women’s financial inclusion.

2) Share existing public policies and strategies in the African region to develop nonconventional collateral approaches targeting rural areas, in order to enhance the capacity of parliamentarians to engage with financial institutions and other stakeholders to strengthen national financial markets through the promotion and adoption of regulatory and legislative frameworks.

3) Promote an exchange of knowledge, experiences, and good practices among parliamentarians, international organizations, financial institutions, women's organizations and other relevant stakeholders on specific measures and approaches to promote rural women’s access to finance.

This was the fifth virtual dialogue in the Parliamentarians' Actions for Gender Equality and Resilient Food Systems in Response to COVID-19 series. It was held on June 29, 2021, from 15.30 to 18.00 CEST.

It was part of a series of dialogues organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), Women in Law & Development in Africa (WiLDAF) and Oxfam as part of their policy support to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Network of Parliamentarians on Gender Equality and Investments in Agriculture and Food Security. The objective of the series is to enhance the role of African parliamentarians in mitigating the gender-differentiated impacts of COVID-19 on food systems.

Watch the virtual dialogue's full recording

Assista à íntegra do diálogo virtual em língua portuguesa



Related resources 

Women and Finance: Enabling Women’s Economic Empowerment

Women's Financial Inclusion: Closing the Gender Gap

Financial Inclusion for Women's Economic Empowerment

In Uganda, Can Cows Help Close the Credit Gap? 



Ndaya Beltchika, Lead Technical Specialist, Gender and Social Inclusion, International Fund for Agricultural Development


Mr. Abebe Haile Gabriel, Assistant Director-General, Regional Representative for Africa, FAO
Mr. Benard Chitunga, Senior Officer, Affirmative Finance for Women in Africa, African Development Bank
Hon Gabriel Alfredo Fernandes, ECOWAS Parliament
Mr. John Amimo, Head of Programmes, African Rural and Agricultural Association
Ms. Khady Fall Tall, Regional President, West African Women's Association
Hon. Neema Lugangira, MP, United Republic of Tanzania
Hon. Sidie Mohamed Tunis, Speaker at the ECOWAS Parliament
Ms. Tenin Fatimata Dicko, Financial Sector Specialist, Word Bank