Invest in Women, Invest in Change. Meet our Kiva Entrepeneur for International Women's Day.
International Women’s Day takes place today, 8th March. In the week leading up to it Kiva, the organisation we use every month to make ‘loans that change lives,’ challenged their community of lenders to fund $1 million in loans to women. We are delighted to say that goal was not only reached but exceeded, and as a result Kiva have organised for an additional $1 million in loans to women to be matched for today only.
When we heard this news, naturally we decided to make March’s loan a little earlier than usual in order to double the impact of our contribution.
Our recipient this month is Binodini, a woman who lives in Odisha, one of the poorest regions of India. She has formed a group with two other women in order to borrow from Kiva’s Field Partner in this area, People’s Forum. This organisation provides affordable loans and support to women, in particular those like Binodini- a divorcee- who are marginalized within patriarchal Indian society.
Binodini is already an entrepreneurial woman- she makes pickles and jellies which are then sold to wholesalers. She is not seeking this loan to develop her own business, however, but for the future of her youngest daughter, who is enrolled in a banking course. The only thing holding this bright, ambitious young woman back is the struggle to continue paying fees.
India’s financial industry is one of very few traditionally male areas where woman are finally gaining headway. There are more women at the helm of banks in India- ICICI, Axis and HSBC for example- than anywhere else in the world, as well as chairing it’s State Bank and Stock Exchange.
In a culture still fighting against obsolete laws, sexual discrimination and harassment, the significance of women’s success in banking, and the development of a working culture which actively nurtures and retains them, is enormous.
It is inspiring to see a young woman at the beginning of her career seeking to join an industry which is actively challenging the gender roles in Indian society, and we are delighted that our contribution to Binodini’s daughter will be matched by the Richard Brindle Fund today.
As Kiva say themselves, when you invest in women, you invest in change. Please make that investment this International Women’s Day- https://www.kiva.org/lend/1031608