PoWER Women’s and Girls’ Access and Agency Assessment: Papua New Guinea

  • June 09, 2020

  • Publications, guides and communication materials

  • Country Resources


The formal financial inclusion gender gap in Papua New Guinea is estimated to be 29%, the highest in the South Pacific. Efforts to increase overall financial inclusion have had success: the
country’s first National Financial Inclusion Strategy (2014-15) doubled the overall rate of formal financial inclusion from 20% to nearly 40%. However, gender-disaggregated data suggests that the gender gap has actually increased during this period as only 30% of new bank accounts in 2015 were opened by women. UNCDF is seeking to gain a deeper understanding of the country-specific financial inclusion issues that women and girls face in Papua New Guinea and, in doing so, identify opportunities to create positive change.

To address the gender gap, UNCDF has developed a global “PoWER” strategy (Participation of Women in the Economy Realized) to drive women and girls’ economic empowerment by improving their access to, usage of and agency over financial services. UNCDF has previously carried out multi-country assessments to gain a deeper understanding of the country specific constraints that women and girls face in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Myanmar, Senegal and Tanzania. The PoWER country assessment toolkit is available as a public good, to deepen understanding of these constraints in other countries.

This document presents the results of UNCDF’s country assessment in Papua New Guinea bringing together evidence collected from desk research, 28 key informant interviews, 7 focus group discussions and a survey of 400 women and girls carried out in Papua New Guinea. Working within the limitations of desk research2, the analysis seeks to understand key constraints and enablers of women and girls’ access, usage and control of finance in Papua New Guinea across supply, demand and the enabling environment.

This publication is brought to you by the Pacific Financial Inclusion Programme (PFIP). PFIP is jointly administered by the UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and receives funding from the Australian Government, the European Union, the New Zealand Government.

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