A caregiver from Ukraine assists an elderly woman in Rome | Photo: ANSA/ALESSANDRO DI MEO/DRN
A caregiver from Ukraine assists an elderly woman in Rome | Photo: ANSA/ALESSANDRO DI MEO/DRN

A report carried out by research center Cespi has highlighted that migrant women in Italy are able to set money aside yet suffer from a ''gender gap'' in terms of financial inclusion, income and the value of remittances.

Migrant women in Italy are very good at economizing and setting their family's money aside, yet they suffer from a gender gap in terms of income and the overall value of remittances sent home, according to a report presented Tuesday by research center Cespi at the United Nation's International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). 

The report called  ''The financial inclusion of women and the role of remittances: focus on four migrant communities in Italy'' found that remittances sent home by migrant women were overall 13 percent lower than money transferred by migrant men. 

Study on communities from Philippines, Senegal, Ukraine and Morocco 

The report examined the choices in managing their savings made by women from four immigrant communities originally from the Philippines, Senegal, Ukraine and Morocco. ''Remittances towards the rest of the world, except for China, follow a growing trend'', stressed the director of Cespi, Daniele Frigeri. 

The report noted that migrant women were skilled in saving money. Yet the study found that, according to data examined as of December 2017, women had lower access to banks than their male counterparts. 

Overall, 83 percent of male migrants had a bank account compared to 60 percent of women. The research also said that out of the 126,500 small businesses with immigrant owners who had a bank account, 32 percent were women.

Study highlights income gap 

The study highlighted a significant pay gap: women on average earned 24 percent less than men. Their income, however, did not impact their financial skill in setting aside money with 36 percent of both migrant women and men saving, double the average of Italian citizens. 

In terms of access to credit, the data regarding the number of loans at a financial institution showed a significant gender gap with 19 percent of men who were granted one or more loan against 16 percent of women. The foreign women residing in Italy who were polled sent remittances only slightly less frequently than men. 

On average, the amount of money sent home by women was 10 percent lower. In terms of remittances on an annual basis, women sent 13 percent less than men to their home country, according to the survey. 

The data and information gathered from the interviews also showed that migrants mainly chose to invest their savings in Italy, the study said.

The report was presented during a round table on ''The financial inclusion of women and the role of remittances'' organized by Aspen Institute Italia, Aspen Initiative for Europe and IFAD, with the collaboration of WE -Women Empower the world and sponsored by the foreign ministry.

More articles