KARACHI: The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has launched a national dialogue on its forthcoming policy, “Banking on Equality”, to reduce gender gap in financial inclusion.
In this regard, SBP Governor Dr Reza Baqir on Monday hosted a webinar titled ‘Launch of Consultation on Banking on Equality Policy: Reducing the Gender Gap in Financial Inclusion’.
As per the governor, the event aimed to address three key adjectives; to bring attention to the shared goal of reducing gender gap in financial inclusion; share the content of the policy that was being launched for consultation; and to get feedback from stakeholders on the policy itself.
Panelists included Aga Khan Development Network Director Princess Zahra Aga Khan, IMF’s Strategy, Policy, & Review Director Ceyla Pazarbasioglu, and SBP Governor Dr Reza Baqir, whereas Dr Anita Zaidi, President of the Gender Equality at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, moderated the session.
In addition to the panel discussion, Sima Kamil, Deputy Governor SBP, shed light on female financial inclusion and key features of the forthcoming strategy to address weaknesses in the policy.
Kamil stated that 11.7 million or 18pc of adult women in Pakistan have an active bank account, in comparison to 51pc for men. She further talked about five key pillars of the ‘Banking on Equality’ policy which aim to improve institutional diversity, product diversification, development capability, facilitation of women segments, gender disaggregated data collection, and prioritizing gender focus in SBP’s policies.
The policy is expected to be launched in early February 2021 following a series of focused consultation sessions with stakeholders.