IFC: COVID-19 and the Insurance Industry: Why a Gender-Sensitive Response Matters
Executive summary :
Even before the COVID-19 crisis began, women in emerging markets were more likely to be financially excluded.
Financial exclusion is a problem
For example, women are 9% less likely than men to have a bank account and, in absolute terms, 56 percent of all unbanked adults across the world are women.
Research on the economic consequences of COVID-19 suggests that this pandemic is likely to widen the gender gap.
Boxes 1 and 2 (see below) list the ways that COVID-19 could impact women’s risk profile, and therefore exacerbate their protection gap and need for insurance.
Women are key workers
As women are key insurance industry stakeholders due to their roles as employees, agents, and, increasingly, as customers, insurers need to be conscious of women’s multiple roles as breadwinners, business owners, caregivers, and household decision makers.
Insurers must tackle the gender gap
Thus, as insurers adopt relief, recovery, and resilience measures, they should consider applying a gender lens to their operational processes, including how they manage, market, communicate, sell, and use information technology, and how they support their women employees, agents, and customers. This means implementing solutions in a way that does not perpetuate the gender gap.
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