Women and Credit: A Narrative Review in Low- and Middle-Income Countries

This is a narrative review of interventions that provide stand-alone credit or with savings and complementary programming to women or to women and men in LMICs, spanning studies between 2012-2022 and benefitting from recent systematic reviews and meta-analyses in relevant topics. The review finds that women’s credit constraints are related to gender differentials at the levels of the individual, the household, or the community/context. While constraints at the individual level tend to erase as women increase their wealth and business experience to match those of men, constraints that emerge from women’s traditional family roles in the household as well as constraints that arise from biases or discrimination that women face in the financial ecosystem cannot be reduced to differences in magnitude of wealth or business experience with men and require gender-informed solutions.  The review identifies possible solutions for five different categories of women it can identify according to income and occupation and discusses both the strength of the evidence and the gaps in knowledge about what works for whom.  


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