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The gender gap in financial literacy will be a priority in upcoming work of the International Federation of Finance Museums (IFFM), the group decided at its third annual meeting. During the Oct. 29 – 30, 2015, gathering in Beijing, delegates from museums around the world—including representatives from more than 20 Chinese finance museums—laid out IFFM priorities for the year ahead.
The delegates decided to focus on the gender gap in financial literacy, noting that research has repeatedly demonstrated that women around the world have lower financial literacy levels than men. IFFM members will address the gender gap in the financial education programs and initiatives they provide in their museums.
Also during the meeting, IFFM founders Annamaria Lusardi, academic director of GFLEC, and David Cowen, president of the Museum of American Finance, concluded their term as co-chairs. Giovanna Paladino, director of the Saving Museum in Turin, Italy, and Wei Wang, chairman of the Chinese Museum of Finance, are serving as the new IFFM co-chairs.
Keynote speakers at the annual meeting included:
The Beijing meeting, hosted by the Chinese Museum of Finance and its sister museums, included visits to the Museum of Global Finance, Museum of Internet Finance, and the Chinese Museum of Finance.
The Interactive Museum of Economics (MIDE) in Mexico City will host the 2016 annual meeting.
The Global Financial Museum Expo in China brought together experts from around the world to discuss financial literacy and financial inclusion and to honor colleagues working in that arena. GFLEC Academic Director Annamaria Lusardi and Museum of American Finance President David Cowen were given the 2015 IFFM Financial Literacy Award for their dedication to improving financial literacy. Professor Lusardi also presented a keynote address.
The Oct. 31 – Nov. 1, 2015, expo followed the IFFM Annual Meeting and was held as a joint initiative of the Chinese Museum of Finance and the IFFM. GFLEC and finance museums from around the world designed expo booths to showcase their work in promoting financial literacy and financial education.
Tian Wei, an anchor at CCTV News, served as the emcee at the opening ceremony and gala dinner.
Other keynote speakers at the expo included:
Annual Meeting and Expo Agenda
The IFFM has released the Beijing Financial Literacy Manifesto underscoring the critical role that financial literacy plays in the well-being of individuals and society.
“Financial literacy refers not just to the knowledge of financial concepts but also the capacity to use that knowledge to improve the financial well-being of individuals and society. Financial literacy makes it possible for individuals to fully participate in economic life, and, as such, it is important for individuals, families, communities, countries and our global economy,” according to the document.
The manifesto included a call to action, encouraging people to become ambassadors for financial literacy. It also noted the ramifications if financial literacy is not addressed.
“We care about lack of financial literacy because there are severe consequences associated with it. Those who are not financially literate are less likely to participate in financial markets, are less likely to save and plan for the future, and are more likely to have problems with debt.
“As the recent financial crisis made clear, access to credit without proper financial knowledge can result in harmful costs for both the individual and for society. We are at a crisis point when it comes to financial literacy and we need to take action,” the manifesto said.
IFFM Co-Chair Annamaria Lusardi announced the release of the manifesto during the opening ceremony of the Global Financial Museum Expo in China.
Beijing Financial Literacy Manifesto
Museum of Global Finance,