The charity Actionaid found that more than three-quarters of women questioned said they were very good at managing money, compared with 64 per cent of men. Both sexes agreed that women were better than men at managing money.
But of 1.3m people living in extreme poverty, 70 per cent were women. The Low Pay Unit said women had taken the brunt of a rising income inequality and that the 10 worst-paid jobs in the country were done by women.
Globally, the United Nations Development Programme estimates that women's unpaid and underpaid work is undervalued to the order of $11trillion a year. If women's work was properly valued they would emerge as the major breadwinners.
"Women can and do make a significant impact in reducing extreme poverty," said Marion Jackson, Actionaid's director of marketing. "When they control the purse strings the whole family benefits, particularly children. But the world now has to support women."
A briefing, Banking on Women, is available from Actionaid. Tel: 0171 281 4101Reuse content