Supporting women's financial independence
Thursday 30 November 2023
We look back on a recent event organised in Milan to discuss women’s Microcredit of Freedom (Microcredito di Libertà) and tools to combat economic violence. At UniCredit we are committed to providing concrete tools and supporting initiatives in the fight against gender-based violence even in terms of lack of financial resources and independence.
In spring UniCredit signed an agreement with the National Microcredit Agency in Italy to adhere to the memorandum of understanding promoted by the Department of Equal Opportunities and Family with the aim of activating the “Microcredit of Freedom” project, which encourages the granting of loans, in the form of social microcredit, aimed at emancipating women from forms of economic subjection.
On 8 November we organised an event in Milan to discuss Microcredit of Freedom and tools to combat economic violence presenting the project to members of the Anti-Violence Centres located throughout Italy.
The initiative was moderated by Monica D'Ascenzo, Diversity & inclusion Editor of Il Sole 24 Ore with speakers Mario Baccini, President of the National Microcredit Agency, Caterina Boca, Head of the Microcredit of Freedom Italian Caritas project, Raffaele Rinaldi, Head of Credit and Finance Services ABI, Claudia Benedetti, Head of Federcasse Mutual Development Service, Dario Prunotto, Director of UniGens, Marina Calloni professor in Political and Social Philosophy at the University of Milan-Bicocca and director of the ADV - Against Domestic Violence research centre and representatives of anti-violence centres. The event was a moment to debate the needs, difficulties, problems and possible solutions for women in vulnerable and socially and financially excluded conditions, with the aim of helping them to start a path to escape violence by gaining support in an anti-violence centre and/or in a shelter.
Gender equality is an extremely important issue, so much so that it represents the fifth of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations as part of the 2030 Agenda. UniCredit wants to play an important role in the development of the communities in which it operates and, as a leader in sustainable finance, supports economic activities that generate a positive impact on society.
Microcredit of Freedom is a concrete tool in the fight against gender-based violence as it tackles one of the main obstacles preventing victims from breaking free from abusive situations: lack of financial resources. We can all do a lot to help those in difficulty and at UniCredit we are at the forefront on this topic.
We believe that the purpose of banks is not simply to provide finance but to help people - entrepreneurs, individuals, families and those that are vulnerable - to build a better life for themselves, thereby empowering communities to progress and helping to build a more fair and sustainable society
As UniCredit, we are proud to promote projects dedicated to women like these by providing all our expertise and knowledge across our widespread network of branches rooted in the territory to ensure that women victims of violence, that experience economic and social vulnerability, can have adequate assistance also from a financial point of view. Since June, we have made available a loan guaranteed product in all our branches - at 100 per cent of the amount disbursed - by a guarantee fund specifically set up with public resources from the Department of Equal Opportunities called 'Fondo di garanzia per il microcredito sociale' (Guarantee Fund for Social Microcredit).
Read our recent article on this year’s International Day for the elimination of violence against women.