The ILO and IFC launch a second year-long Community of Practice among insurers to reduce the protection gap for women

The continued partnership will lead 18 insurance-industry organizations from 13 countries over the next year to better understand and serve the women’s insurance market—supporting both financial inclusion and employment opportunities for women.

News | 17 March 2023
On Thursday, 1 March 2023, the ILO’s Impact Insurance Facility and IFC Women’s Insurance Program launched the second cohort of the year-long IFC ILO Women’s Insurance Community of Practice — #In4Women — to raise awareness about the insurance needs of women, and to highlight the market opportunity for insurers if they target women as customers and employees. Following the success of the first cohort of the Community of Practice, the partnership continues to impart best practices on how to increase access to insurance for women, allowing for learning and knowledge sharing within the cohort, and with external experts through a series of bespoke webinars and related events. The current cohort of the Community of Practice consists of representatives from 18 organisations in 13 countries.

Closing the gaps in economic participation of women and men drives the growth of businesses and economies and improves the lives of families and communities. While women around the globe have rising incomes and increased buying power, they remain an underserved community across financial services.

Fatou Giwa, Global program lead, IFC Women’s Insurance program said: “At IFC, we are focused on ‘creating markets’ that are competitive, sustainable, inclusive, and resilient. The insurance sector is critical to this effort but cannot perform to its full potential without actively targeting women as customers and distribution force. Since the emergence of COVID-19, gender-sensitive approaches have become even more important than before. We look forward to leveraging this CoP platform and the partnership with ILO to further build awareness around the women’s insurance market opportunity among insurance stakeholders and support them to better serve women as customers and employees.”

Craig Churchill, Chief of Social Finance Programme, ILO said: “We are delighted to continue working with IFC on this important project. We look forward to realizing the power of the Communities of Practice; as a group, participants can go further and faster than individual companies might on their own.”

According to IFC’s SheforShield report, if the insurance industry were to target women as customers, they can earn up to US$1.7 trillion by 2030—half of it in emerging economies.

The ILO’s Impact Insurance Facility
The ILO’s Social Finance Programme works with the financial sector to enable it to contribute to the ILO’s Decent Work Agenda. In this context, we engage with banks, microfinance institutions, credit unions, insurers, investors and others to test new financial products, approaches and processes. The Impact Insurance Facility contributes to the Social Finance agenda by collaborating with the insurance industry, governments and partners to realize the potential of insurance for social and economic development. A key priority is ensuring the financial inclusion of women, thereby closing the gender protection gap.

IFC Women’s Insurance Program
The IFC Women’s Insurance Program works alongside the private sector to create women’s insurance markets, particularly in the most challenging places. We help develop innovative solutions to address the risk mitigation and financial protection needs of women at every stage of their life. IFC works closely with its clients to increase their customer base and revenue from women, thereby supporting women’s access to insurance and boosting their employment opportunities as agents and distributors.