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Sunday October 24, 2021

SBP to plan women’s financial inclusion

December 20, 2020

KARACHI: The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) will host a webinar on ‘consultative launch of banking on equality policy: reducing the gender gap in financial inclusion’ on Monday (December 21).

The webinar will be shown live on State Bank’s Facebook page and aims to promote awareness of the significance of women financial inclusion and hold discussions among distinguished international thought leaders to discuss practical ways to give a boost to women financial inclusion in Pakistan.

SBP Governor Reza Baqir will host the consultative launch with introductory presentation on the policy by SBP Deputy Governor Sima Kamil, and followed by a high level panel discussion around women’s financial inclusion. The panel members will include Aga Khan Development Network Director Zahra Aga Khan, Ceyla Pazarbasioglu from IMF and Anita Zaidi from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Women’s access to financial and economic opportunities is essential for sustainable and inclusive economic growth. However, women in Pakistan are disproportionately under-served by the financial system. Only 18 percent of adult women in Pakistan have an active bank account compared with 51 percent men. In order to address the gender disparities, State Bank of Pakistan has adopted a medium-term national target of 20 million active women bank accounts by 2023 under national financial inclusion strategy. The target will be achieved through the launch of a policy to reduce the gender gap in financial inclusion.

The SBP’s flagship policy for promoting women financial inclusion will introduce a gender lens within the financial sector through specific measures to bring a shift towards gender friendly business practices.

Zahra Aga Khan is a member of the board of directors of the Aga Khan Development Network. She serves in various leadership roles within the Aga Khan Development Network, including as Trustee of the Aga Khan University and the University of Central Asia.