Sonal Jaitly

Senior Manager

Sonal is a Senior Manager at MSC and leads the Gender Equality and Social Inclusion (GESI) practice.

Sonal’s work focuses on women’s financial inclusion and economic empowerment, integrating a gender perspective into policies and programs, gender mainstreaming with financial service providers, combining insights from behavioral sciences and technology use, and digital financial services to enhance inclusion. She has more than a decade of experience working on gender issues. Her prior experience includes working as a Theme Leader for Gender at the Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI). She led women’s enterprise development programs and provided technical assistance to government stakeholders. She has also led programs for ending violence against women during her tenure at UN Women. She has authored and contributed to several reports on gender equality, and her writing was featured in The Washington Times.

Posts by Sonal Jaitly

India’s blanket approach to financial inclusion is leaving women behind: Here are four ways to close the gender gap

India has been at the forefront of digital innovations in financial services, helping millions participate in the financial economy through their mobile phones. However, this progress and innovation are meaningless for the millions of Indian women who remain excluded from basic banking in the first place. The strategies we have discussed in this blog directly impact women’s financial inclusion.

Job losses, business closure — Covid hit female entrepreneurs. Here’s how to support them

This article discusses the impact of COVID-19 on women-owned enterprises and highlights the key challenges they face. It calls for creating an enabling ecosystem to promote women’s entrepreneurship and suggests six key enablers that could catalyze women’s entrepreneurship in India.

Caregiving, the hidden engine of the economy

The joint op-ed published in The Hindu BusinessLine, cowritten by MSC and NITI Aayog, talks about the disproportionate burden of unpaid care work on women. This disproportionate burden is an issue of equality and economic growth. The op-ed argues that market development and innovation in the “Care sector” have the potential to offer solutions and choices to reduce this unfair burden on women.

Women and DFS

This blog highlights the key drivers of gender gaps in women’s access to digital financial services and their use. It shares how the adoption of DFS among women can catalyze the mitigation of this gender gap. It uses insights from a first-time DFS user’s journey to highlight how to understand and respond better to women’s exclusion.

Women’s agent network—the missing link in India’s financial inclusion story: A supply-side perspective

About 10% of 1.26 million BCs in India are women. This policy note discusses a supply-side perspective on challenges and opportunities to expand the women agent network in India.

GOOTCHA—A framework to build gender-sensitive ID systems

The World Bank estimates that around a billion people across the globe lack a “legal identity.” The gender gap in terms of people’s access to official IDs is considerable in low-income countries, where one in two women lack any form of official ID. This limits financial, social, and political participation for women.

Working paper: A framework for building gender-sensitive identity systems

One in two women in low-income countries lack official identification documents, which limits their financial, social, and political participation. This report explores the design and lifecycle of ID systems from gender and behavioral lenses and proposes a framework to make them more gender-sensitive.

COVID -19 recovery is likely to fail women- digital financial services can help, if designed well

Response to COVID-19 pandemic needs to be gender transformative so that fundamental gender issues like social norms, access to resources etc are addressed . Can digital solutions help?