Oxford Saïd Business School became the latest MBA provider to call for financial inclusion for women last week.
Professor Peter Tufano, Dean of Saïd Business School, and Professor Andrew Hamilton, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford, were among the first signatories to 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.
The petition was launched at Power Shift: The Oxford Forum on Women in the World Economy, at Saïd Business School. The launch was live-streamed on the Knowledge Gateway for Women’s Economic Empowerment, and the petition was signed by the conference participants – a range of leading academics, investors, financial institutions, advisers and entrepreneurs.
The petition says: “We, the undersigned, call on the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals, in the articulation of the Post-2015 Development Framework, to emphasise women's economic empowerment, particularly with regard to increasing women’s access to financial services, improving their financial capability, and increasing their access to skilled jobs including leadership positions in the financial sector.”
The full petition will be delivered in person to the UN in New York on 9 June 2014.
Professor Peter Tufano said that financial inclusion is essential for women to fulfil their economic potential. “Research indicates that women have a key role to play in stimulating economic growth at all levels, so it makes sense to find ways to increase women’s access to economic activity and services, and to enhance their financial capabilities,” he said.
“This petition focuses attention upon these key issues and calls upon the business community and policy makers to direct efforts to addressing them.”
The e-petition is now open for digital signatures at https://bitly.com/WomensFinancialInclusion until June 6 2014.
Professor Linda Scott, convenor of Power Shift, said that thousands of women have the ambition to start their own businesses, but many of them are held by back legal and cultural barriers.
“For women to be free to engage with the world of finance – to open bank and savings accounts, to own land and other assets, to borrow money and have access to capital – is a vital first step on the road to economic and social equality,” she added.