The BBVAMF fosters support for vulnerable women during the United Nations CSW 68

Latin American ministers and experts on women and development have shared solutions to speed up gender equality in an event organized by the BBVA Microfinance Foundation. Governments, civil society organizations, experts and activists from all over the globe gather to tackle and agree on actions that help end women’s poverty and advance towards gender equality. As of today, 10% of women worldwide, live in extreme poverty, with less that USD 2,15/day. With the aim of mitigating this reality, this year, the Commission on the Status of Women has celebrated its 68th edition. 



It’s in this framework where the BBVA Microfinance Foundation (BBVAMF) organized the event “Gender-lens Financing & Innovating to End End Poverty” in collaboration with the Trust for the Americas and the Panamanian, Colombian and the Dominican Republic governments. In Latin America, 62% of women are under a multidimensional poverty situation. This means that aside from the lack of economic resources, these women are also deprived of health, education and housing.

Technology has also turned into an element of exclusion: women make much less use of it in their businesses and they miss the opportunities that a digital world could bring them.

In response to this, The Trust for the Americas offers skill building programs to women in Latin America, in partnership with local allies. “The role of publi-private synergies is key to develop these kinds of initiatives that boost employment opportunities for women”, shared Linda Eddleman, the organization’s CEO during the high level panel that took place in the event.

In this light, Pilar Garrido, director for Development Cooperation in the OECD, said that only 4% of the total Official Development Assistance are oriented towards programs whose main objective is gender equality. 


United Nations point out that to achieve this, USD 360 billion more would have to be invested annually in initiatives for gender equality. Moreover, closing gender economic gaps could pump USD 172 trillion in the global economy and increase GDP to 20%: “Investing in women is imperative to build more inclusive and proesperous societies for all and erradicate poverty. Our impact assessment data confirm that out of the entrepreneurs that moved out of the poverty threshold last year, 7 out of 10 are women”, guaranteed Laura Fernández Lord, director for Sustainability, Equity and Inclusion at the BBVAMF.

The BBVA Microfinance Foundation supports 1.7 million women in five countries in Latin America and designs financial and non-financial products and services with gender lens, adapted to vulnerable women’s situations: migrants, members of the indigenous communities or residents of remote and rural areas. This is the case for Edith Elgueta, a Chilean beekeeper who produces and sells honey in the Atacama desert and has participated in the event. Edith shared how, thanks to the support of Fondo Esperanza, BBVAMF’s local institution, she was able to push her entrepreneurial project forward.

To support women, the BBVAMF offers green and rural financial products such as loans for sustainable agriculture and agrarian and climate microinsurance. Out of the 160,000 people that have this type of insurance, 50% are women. Furthermore, the Foundation has developed a wide range of low-cost microinsurance ranging from USD 1 to 3 monthly, specific for women that covers cancer diagnosis as well as maternity periods. By the end of 2023, 263,000 women already have some of these products. Similarly, the Foundation also facilitates open online and free training platforms where they could learn how to manage social media which, for Edith, allow her to sell to other countries through the Internet.