Blockchain can promote gender equality.
In an op-ed for Coindesk, Denelle Dixon, CEO and Executive Director of the Stellar Development Foundation, a non-profit organization that supports development and growth of Stellar, an open-source blockchain network that connects world’s financial infrastructure, shared her thoughts about the power of the technology in bridging the financial gap for women. Dixon was the former COO of Mozilla, a free and open-source web browser. She also serves as the general counsel and legal advisor in private equity and technology.
On International Women’s Day, Dixon recognized how financially marginalized women are. She stressed that women are “disproportionately excluded from the existing financial system.” More women are under- or unbanked compared to men worldwide due to cultural or local access, lack of financial education and formal sector employment. In short, women don’t have access to financial services like men.
However, blockchain can help solve the problem because it can bridge the gap and make financial services available for all. Blockchain creates a new identity and offers new on-ramps and exit-ramps.
She mentioned Denmark-based company Hiveonline as an example. Hiveonline helps small businesses and communities by giving them access to credit, insurance, and saving products.
“Hiveonline builds a bridge between informal financial communities, composed of the under- and unbanked like women, and the formal financial system. That’s the power of blockchain – financial services and the world’s financial infrastructure can be connected in a way that creates equitable access,” Dixon wrote.
Also, blockchain helps one saves time and money by providing faster and more affordable cross-border payments. It can also give one real ownership and control over the money which is empowering, especially for women.
Dixon wants women to have financial access because based on research, when they do, it has powerful ripple effects on their families, communities, and countries. Stellar Development Foundation is committed to helping women and all marginalized populations have equal access to the global financial system. It is also dedicated to proving that blockchain has the power to unlock financial inclusion and empower economic participation for women and the world.
Meanwhile, according to a study in 2018, there was a gender imbalance in the blockchain industry with women less likely to consider a career in blockchain compared to men.