UN Women, MasterCard to Push Women Empowerment in Nigeria


In this new world order where everything is changing rapidly, the world’s perspective about women should also change. Nearly 2.4 billion people in the world live without any form of official personal identification, and majority of them are women. In commemorating the International Women’s Day activities, women of the United Nations, UN, in collaboration with MasterCard, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding to address the issue of advance gender equality and women’s economic empowerment.

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In line with this, a first initiative was taken, and that is the launch of a pilot programme in Nigeria, which aims to provide half a million Nigerian women with ID cards enabled with electronic payments functionality.

Martina Hund-Mejean said:

Research has shown that as soon as a person has a formal identity and access to electronic payments, they can prosper in ways they haven’t imagined before Chief Financial Officer of MasterCard. Our relationship with UN Women will help make a real difference in these women’s lives as they are more fully empowered to achieve their true potential.

This development will aid an increase to the financial status of Nigerian women, as World Bank report states that only 47 per cent of women worldwide have access to formal financial services, compared to 51 per cent of men. In Africa, this number increases to more than 70 per cent of women.

Lakshmi Puri, United Nations Assistant Secretary-General and Deputy Executive Director of UN Women also said:

One of UN Women’s main objectives is to increase women’s economic empowerment. The partnership with MasterCard will help pave the way to economic freedom and financial inclusion for women, initially in Nigeria.

We look forward to working together and see the potential of expanding the model to benefit women also in other countries. It is also encouraging that we will collaborate on knowledge generation, advocacy and resource mobilization for greater investment in gender equality and women’s empowerment – reflecting MasterCard and its CEO’s deep commitment to a Planet 50/50 and to supporting UN Women’s efforts.

Under the programme, MasterCard and UN Women will further explore how and when Nigerians have signed up for the country’s national identity card programme. Based on these insights, a targeted programme will be launched to educate women on the benefits of the programme and enroll them for the identity card.

Vice-President and Business lead for West Africa at MasterCard, Omokehinde Ojomuyide, says:

This campaign will help at least half a million women in Nigeria gain access to financial services, many for the first time, and the support they need to enter the country’s formal economy.

MasterCard is a leading global payments & technology company that operates the world’s fastest payments processing network in connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. The platform provides solutions everyday in commerce activities such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances. It is usually easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone who employs the use of MasterCard, and women need it even more to make their lives stress free.

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