28 August 2020

Two women talking and smiling

Not only are women often the primary caregivers in many households, but increasingly, they are also entrepreneurs and breadwinners. We’ve found some interesting statistics about women working abroad and the remittances they send home:

Did you know that...

  • Women make up 48% of the global migrant worker population.

  • Remittances sent and received by women are usually spent on household provisions, childcare and healthcare, having indirect societal benefits.

  • Women tend to remit smaller amounts more often, and so they might be paying higher transaction costs. According to the Global Migration Group, women could be paying up to 20% more in remittance fees than men.

  • Research by the UN & EU Women Migrant Project suggests that female senders could be paying more than male counterparts to transfer the same amount of money.

  • The gender pay gap suggests that female migrants typically send a higher percentage of their earnings back home.

  • Women are overrepresented among more than one billion people across the world who do not have proof of identity documents and are therefore excluded from obtaining financial services.


The financial inclusion of female migrants

WorldRemit is committed to the financial inclusion of women through our mobile-first approach. We are now the leading provider of remittances to mobile money wallets across the world, and there are now more than 122 million users of mobile money services in Africa.

Mobile money is transforming today's households, providing a path to greater financial security and prosperity. Mobile money is especially important for female-led households, as it offers potential opportunities to move from agricultural jobs into higher-income careers, or for women to set up their own businesses, especially for women who may not have access to a bank account.

Historically, and for various reasons, women have been underrepresented in the financial and technology sectors. Many organisations are working on boosting representation by providing mentoring and training to young women or by helping them to prepare for roles within the technology sector.

One such example is Akira's Chix - a Nairobi-based company founded in 2010 by a group of women passionate about inspiring and helping women in the tech space.

Supporting women in FinTech

At WorldRemit, we are proud to highlight the notable contributions made to fintech by our colleagues, Sharon Kinyanjui and Cynthia Ponera.

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Sharon's story: Our powerhouse behind operations in East & Central Africa

Sharon is the Country Director for Kenya & Head of East Africa at WorldRemit. She is responsible for our development and expansion across more than ten markets in these regions. Sharon is a team leader, with the extensive technical expertise gained through more than fifteen decades of international business development. Sharon has extensive knowledge and experience of remittances as she previously held key management roles across the EMEA region at Western Union.

"Inclusion of women in the tech space needs to become standard practice. We need to build an enabling environment which allows girls to flourish in the fintech space. Women are frequent consumers of tech and therefore need to be included in the conversation. Qualified women should continue to take more leadership positions within organisations in the tech ecosystem."

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Cynthia's story: Accelerating WorldRemit's growth in Tanzania

Cynthia is WorldRemit’s Country Manager for Tanzania. She is responsible for generating new business in Tanzania through building relationships with partners and identifying areas for growth.

With extensive experience in the banking industry, Cynthia specialising in digital and alternative channels. It is here that she became chairperson of the Women Network Forum, which was created to empower women to take leadership roles.

She championed the #SheforShe and #HeforShe campaigns, challenging men and women in leadership positions to provide mentoring to upcoming female talent. Cynthia's masters thesis was on the effect of mobile money on female financial inclusion in Tanzania. Away from work, Cynthia is a daughter, sister, aunt and mother.

Her hobbies include photography, basketball, swimming, and advising female artisans on how to use social media to network and develop their businesses.

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Through delivering a fast, secure and convenient money transfer service, WorldRemit is making a lasting contribution to the sustainable development of inclusive fintech in Africa.

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