Women’s World Banking (WWB) is the global nonprofit devoted to giving more low-income women access to the financial tools and resources they require to build security and prosperity. WWB continues to equip financial institutions from all over the world with in-depth market research, with sustainable financial products and consumer education to meet women’s needs.
At the Women’s World Bank Headquarters
It is crucial to unveil practices in the financial sector and social norms that prevail in society which inhibit women’s access to and use of financial services, even when legislation and regulation do not restrict them. To this end, I have been helping the research team to do an investigation that aims to gain insight into the actual practices of financial and other service providers regarding women’s access to finance. In addition, we are analyzing societal norms regarding women’s participation in the financial sector, and women’s perception of practices that create barriers to financial services. I have been examining the social and cultural norms surrounding women entrepreneurs in countries such as Kenya, India, Philippines, and Brazil.
Vibrant working space
Working at WWB is a wonderful experience to put in practice the skills you acquire in the IPED program. It helped me to understand how important it is to learn the methods to collect and analyze data and to know which are the main sources of statistics in academia. As students we tend to underestimate the great advantage of having access to the best databases and the invaluable Fordham library.
In response to Pope Francis’s address to the United Nation General Assembly on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on September 2015, Fordham IPED students began working on a basic human needs assessment tool that measures the basic requirements for human dignity put forward by Pope Francis. As outlined in his address, the basic requirements for human dignity were divided into two groups: basic material goods and spiritual well-being. Under the direction of IPED Director Prof. Henry Schwalbenberg, the students identified the indicators that best captures what Pope Francis intends to assess. Seven indicators of human development were included: access to water, food, housing, employment, education, gender equality, and religious freedom. Collectively, these 7 indicators create the Fordham’s Pope Francis Global Poverty Index (Fordham-Francis Index or FFI)
The FFI is envisioned to be the poverty measurement tool that will provide a comprehensive and straightforward assessment of inclusive poverty alleviation. It is hoped that various actors in civil society, particularly Catholic organizations in the developing world, will be able to use the FFI to judge the international community’s success in implementing the UN’s New Agenda for Sustainable Development.
FFI score across the globe. Lower FFI indicates higher levels of deprivation.
Last April 21, the students presented their results at the Building Good Economies conference held at Fordham’s Lincoln Center campus. Their results were able to confirm the relevance and comprehensiveness of the FFI indicators. Regression analysis revealed that the seven primary indicators are strongly correlated with key development indicators. Additionally, they found religious freedom to be an innovative addition that had yet to be captured by existing indices.
The FFI Student Team for Fall 2015
The FFI Student Team for Spring 2016
We look forward to sharing more developments as future student teams update and refine the Pope Francis Global Poverty Index.
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