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It is pretty obvious that you can empower women by providing more financing for female entrepreneurs, and financing technology that makes banking services accessible to women in remote places. Or by investing in the care economy, services for child and elderly care, where women carry typically the larger burden.

What may be less evident is that financing parking spaces, roads and public transport may have a gender impact. Even in France, 90% of women have experienced sexual harassment using public transport, so it’s important that new trains have dedicated compartments for women. It’s important that parking garages are well lit. When road engineers choose bridges for pedestrians, rather than underpasses, they’ve done something that makes the road a safer environment for women.

Eleni Kyrou and Julia Chambers are social development specialist working in the safeguards and quality management department of the European Investment Bank. On A Dictionary of Finance podcast this week they explain how finance can have an impact on gender equality, the EIB’s strategy for gender equality and women’s economic empowerment, and much more.

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