The fact that Claire Foy was paid less than Matt Smith for The Crown, the hit Netflix series on the British royal family, is just one more rallying point in the battle against gender discrimination in the global entertainment industry. However, there are more important subterranean elements as well. The International Monetary Fund has released data this week that shows how women have unequal access to financial services in many countries.

A total of 27 countries have provided data based on gender for the annual Financial Access Survey conducted by the multilateral lender. The average share of deposits and loans that went to women in these countries is 40%, a modest skew rather than an extreme one. But the record of individual countries is much more complex. One reason for the skew is the different rates of labour force participation of men and women.

What about India? It is not one of the 27 countries that have provided data for the survey, but there is a strong case for government agencies to focus on this issue in the years ahead. The first step is to produce credible data.

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