Women send a greater percentage of their income through remittances as compared to men, an analysis of global trends has found.
Coinciding with this year’s International Mothers Day, the money transfer service provider Western Union survey studied the economic impact that international migrant women are having on both the global economy and their home economies as they cross borders for new opportunities.
“Money flows globally are driven increasingly by women and it’s time to recognise the significant role women play in enhancing economic development globally by supporting the financial needs of their families and the community at large through their remittances,” said Jean Claude Farah, President, Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, Eastern Europe & CIS, Western Union.
“Across the Gulf Cooperation Council countries we see a large number of working women coming from a wide range of countries, many of these are mothers themselves or are supporting parents back home,” Farah said.
Both men and women primarily send to women (about two-thirds of receivers are women), reinforcing the importance of women as the core of home financial management, the study reported.
Today migrant women represent 48 per cent of all international migrants and are finding jobs in multiple sectors and disciplines or starting their own businesses, according to the UN, dismissing misconceptions that women were ‘second wave’ migrants, travelling only as part of a family or once relatives have established themselves in a new home, it said.
Female international migrants send approximately the same total amount of remittances as their male counterparts, sending a higher proportion of their income, even though they generally earn less than men, according to International Organisation of Migration.
“Women have increased their participation with banks around the world as places to send and receive money,” Farah said.
According to the World Bank, 46.6 per cent of women globally have an account at a formal financial institution (as compared to 54.5 per cent of men). However, in developing economies, women are 8 per cent less likely to have an account than men.
Further, women have narrowed the gender gap in their financial practices as 13.4 per cent of women use electronic payment methods to make payments (as compared to 15.6 per cent of men) and 21 per cent of women saved money at a financial institution (as compared to 23.9 per cent of men).
The World Bank also found that women are rapidly approaching parity with men when it comes to sending and receiving money. Nearly 7 per cent of women use their bank accounts to receive remittances as compared to 7.6 per cent of men and 6 per cent of women use their account to send remittances as compared to 8 per cent.