How Blockchain Can Be Used to Promote Gender Equality

Denelle Dixon is the CEO and Executive Director of the Stellar Development Foundation, a non-profit organization that supports the development and growth of Stellar, an open-source blockchain network that connects the world’s financial infrastructure. Previously, she was the COO of Mozilla, and served as general counsel and legal advisor in private equity and technology.

Blockchain has the power to change the world. The power to connect the world. The power to make the world more equitable and more open. It has the potential to foster greater financial inclusion, unlock economic participation and democratize financial services in an unprecedented way. By using blockchain to create a more accessible and open financial system, we can empower people, especially those left out or underserved by today’s infrastructure.

That means using blockchain to empower some of the most financially marginalized – women. And on International Women’s Day, showing its impact on women seems like the right time to have the conversation.

Because the reality is that women are disproportionately excluded from the existing financial system. Women are under- or unbanked at higher rates than men globally. Due to a whole host of factors like cultural or local norms, lack of financial education and formal sector employment, women are often less likely to use or have access to financial services. That forces many women — and unbanked adults, in general — to rely on inefficient or volatile financial options, like keeping their savings at home or traveling long distances just to make everyday payments.

Yet, research shows that when women have financial access, the ripple effects can be powerful not only for those women, but also for families, for communities, for countries. Having access to and use of a range of financial services enhances not only the contribution of women and women-led business to economic growth, but also contributes to women’s autonomy. It allows for better…

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