The Ministry of Women’s Affairs (MoWA), the National Bank of Cambodia (NBC), and Visa, have completed their year-long program “Promoting Financial Literacy for Women and Women Entrepreneurs”, helping to improve financial literacy and economically empower nearly 10,000 women, entrepreneurs and students across Cambodia .
The program started with trainings conducted in Siem Reap, Kratie, Steung Treng and Preah Vihear, featured staff from MoWA, Provincial Departments and Women Development Centres, and provided participants with an introduction to essential digital and financial literacy skills. Throughout four forums, the program showcased the financial tools and knowledge required to make informed financial choices, embrace entrepreneurship, achieve new growth and thrive.
H.E. The Chhunhak, Director General of Gender Equality and Women’s Economic Development from MoWA said: “The women of Cambodia are a wellspring of untapped talent, skills and creativity. We hope they can use the lessons from the program to leave behind the micro and informal economy. We also hope they can share their new knowledge and success with their fellow women, spreading financial literacy and inclusion for the benefit of all Cambodia.”
Financial inclusion remains a source of social and economic inequity in Cambodia, in particular for Cambodian women. This is less the case in the context of equal access to financial services, but especially in loans and savings mobilization a huge gender gap is still apparent. That means, compared to men, women deposit smaller savings and have less access to large loans.
Additionally, women’s access to financial and digital literacy skills training continues to be a challenge. These issues are especially apparent the farther one looks from the big cities – to the point where rural women often lack adequate financial literacy skills, as well as financial autonomy and a say in family finances. This not only can impede the way to financial well-being, but to entrepreneurship and business growth.
H.E. Rath Sovannorak, Director General of Banking Supervision from NBC said: “The NBC has identified financial literacy as a key pillar of promoting the digital economy and extending equal access to finance and entrepreneurship. We are excited to continue collaborating with Visa on promoting financial inclusion in Cambodia.”
The trainings and forums featured informative presentations by experts from NBC and MoWA, as well as various private sector partners, followed by talks with successful woman entrepreneurs. The sessions provided participants with the core competencies to navigate today’s changing economic and digital environment, promoted the importance of family financial well-being, and endeavored to ignite their spirit for entrepreneurship and innovation.
Ms. Monika Chum, Visa Country Manager for Cambodia said: “It is a great pleasure for Visa to cooperate with the NBC and MoWA to drive such a meaningful program, supporting the financial growth of women in Cambodia. At Visa we believe economies that include everyone everywhere, uplift everyone everywhere and we are excited to be playing a role in promoting social equity in the country. We hope the program participants can use their new financial literacy skills to enhance their own lives and those of their family and community.”
The “Promoting Financial Inclusion for Women and Women Entrepreneurs” program aligns with the Government of the Kingdom of Cambodia’s goal of driving financial inclusion and human resource development, as well as women’s economic empowerment. It also boosts readiness for digital economy and paves the way to post-pandemic recovery, resilience, and inclusive sustainable development.