FERG Reports growth in Remittances by Women in the UAE
FERG: Highlighting the growing participation of women in the global economy, the UAE’s Foreign Exchange and Remittance Group (FERG) has revealed that there was an increase in remittances by women in the UAE in 2020.
According to data collected by FERG from its member exchange and remittance companies, on average women represented 25% of remitters in the UAE in 2020. The data also revealed that remittances by Asian women in the UAE saw the most significant year-on-year growth, followed by Arab and African women, respectively. The top corridors with the highest remittances done by women in the UAE are the Philippines, India, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Egypt, Morocco and Uganda.
According to UN Women, women make up almost half of the 244 million people who live and work outside their country of birth. The past few decades have seen an uptick in the feminization of labour migration, contrary to traditional culture that has portrayed women as passive participants in migration—moving as dependents of their husbands or for family reunification.
FERG’s data also revealed that the effect of the pandemic was marginal and negligible on transactions carried out by women. Al Fardan Exchange, one of the FERG members, reported a 12.6% increase in remittances done by women in 2020, as compared to the previous year. Another FERG member, Lulu Exchange, reported an increase of 2.63% in 2020, compared to 2019, and an increase of 17.77% compared to 2017.
Mohamed Ali Al Ansari, Chairman of FERG, said: “Achieving Gender Equality by 2030 is one of the Sustainable Development Goals laid down by the United Nations. Recognising the economic significance of female migrant workers is crucial in reaching this goal. Female migrants make up approximately half of all the global migrant workforce, and therefore, their contribution to the global economy is of paramount importance. We understand the strategic importance of women in our industry and the larger role that women play in society. Catering to our female customers by providing a secure and sensitive environment is our top priority.”
The remittance behaviour of women is very different from men. Even though women tend to earn less than men due to the gender wage gap, they send a higher proportion of their salaries back home and remit money more consistently. According to data collected from FERG member exchange and remittance houses, the average ticket size of women remitters was between AED1,500–2,000 ($408-$545) per month. They are mostly sent as bank transfers or cash pickups and used for family maintenance, education and healthcare.
Adeeb Ahamed, Vice Chairman of FERG, said: “To empower women and encourage their financial independence, a lot more can be done on the global platform. Overcoming prejudice to achieve gender balance is one of the most important factors. Developing more financial products and services customized for women, aid in financial management and access to technology to avail online services is the need of the hour.”