Gender inclusivity of India’s digital financial revolution for attainment of SDGs: Macro achievements and the micro experiences of targeted initiatives

Maren Duvendack, Lina Sonne, Supriya Garikipati

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
2 Downloads (Pure)


For decades, India has led the drive for financial inclusion of poor rural women to facilitate attainment of development objectives like poverty alleviation and women’s empowerment. More recently, it has promoted digital financial inclusion to further its fight against poverty and gender inequality and support the attainment of UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In this paper we take stock of how India’s digital financial revolution has affected financial transactions and services with a focus on gender inclusivity for the attainment of the SDGs. We propose a framework to understand the gender inclusivity of digital financial inclusion initiatives that connects the macro developments in the sector with the micro-level experiences of improving women’s access and use of these services. We draw on India’s nationwide developments and present a case study of an initiative that specifically promotes gender inclusive finance. Our findings suggest that India has made great advances in promoting digital financial inclusion but at the same time, the country has struggled to achieve gender parity even within specific finance-focused programmes designed to improve gender inclusivity. We reflect on policy implications of these findings.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1369–1391
Number of pages23
JournalEuropean Journal of Development Research
Issue number6
Early online date25 Apr 2023
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023


  • Digital financial inclusion
  • Gender equality
  • India
  • Sustainable development goals

Cite this