Give a gift to another woman on Valentine’s Day

I realise that this is not the done thing. I may not care much about Valentine’s Day, but if I found out that my (albeit theoretical) boyfriend was giving gifts to other women at this time of year, I would not be impressed!

Or at least, my initial thoughts are that I would not be impressed. But recently the LMDF has been studying the impacts of investing in women. Unfortunately women around the world, and notably in emerging markets, suffer disproportionately from poverty. They are also often more marginalised within their society. For instance, one in three women have no say in making major household purchases and more than 50% of women in poorer countries lack control over their own finances. Imagine how difficult it is for them to manage savings for challenging times, build up a fund to send their children to college, or even start up their own business. Without a minimum of financial autonomy, it is very difficult to escape the poverty trap and attain a better quality of life.

We recently spoke to Diane, a single mother in El Salvador. She had struggled to provide her family with food, education and clothing while running a tiny business. However, she managed to gain access to a loan from PADECOMSMCREDITO which enabled her to build up the size of her business so that she could benefit from economies of scale. Eventually she would like to build more shops to guarantee more security for her family and so that she can keep her children in education. She is by no means an isolated incidence; there are millions of women around the globe who would benefit much more from a loan than I would from a Valentine’s Day present.

And giving them loans will not just have a direct impact on the individual woman and their family, but on the broader community too. McKinsey even posits that advancing gender equality could add USD 12 trillion to global GDP.

My office is filled with the normal Valentine’s Day complaints… What should I get my girlfriend for Valentine’s Day? Does anyone know any semi-decent restaurants that are not fully booked this weekend? Have you seen how expensive roses are in the supermarket at the moment? Perhaps we should stop having these concerns and instead let other women have our Valentine’s Day present.

Share the love and invest differently!

Apricot- Intern at LMDF