Mainstreaming Gender at DFC Belize

Earlier this month, the Development Finance Corporation (DFC) of Belize kicked off a series of staff training sessions and community consultations aimed at informing its new Gender Equality Policy and Action Plan.  This initiative is supported by the Caribbean Development Bank and E.T. Jackson and Associates.  DFC has appointed a Gender Champion from among its staff ranks, as well as a designated back-up, to advance this major effort to mainstream gender into all aspects of the organization’s work.  The Corporation has also begun analyzing sex-disaggregated data in its loan portfolio, finding that over the past three years men received about 60% of the loans and women 40%.  The situation is reversed for education loans, where women account for 60% of the borrowers.  However, in other key sectors, such as agriculture and tourism, there is an overwhelming imbalance in the portfolio toward male borrowers. The DFC leadership team is considering options to strengthen and rebalance its loan portfolio within and across sectors.  Gender equality makes good business sense.