KARACHI: The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Thursday said that it has devised a special policy based on gender diversity to transform the banking sector in the adoption of women-friendly business policies and practices.

President Dr Arif Alvi will officially unveil the SBP’s Banking on Equality policy on Sept 17 (today) .

“Banking on Equality is SBP’s flagship policy initiative for reducing the gender gap in financial inclusion,” a press release issued by the central bank said.

The SBP said the policy with its tag line ‘Mali Shamooliat – Sinifi Imtiaz key Bagher’ aims to transform the banking sector in the adoption of women-friendly business policies and practices. The policy has an overarching theme of improving women’s access to financial services and specifies a number of key pillars.

The policy adds that gender diversity in financial institutions and access points to encourage women towards formal financial services.

“Women centric products that cater to women‘s financial needs specifically while increasing financial literacy and awareness about women centric product offerings,” is the second important point in the policy. It has adopted another point as women’s champions and specialised resources at all customer touchpoints for better customer experience.

Robust collection of gender-disaggregated data and target setting for informed policy interventions and post launch monitoring and evaluation is another important aspect of the policy.

Policy forum on gender and finance to prioritise women’s financial inclusion, drive the agenda forward and increase buy-in from multiple stakeholders for added momentum, it added.

“The policy has been developed after having extensive consultation with relevant stakeholders including domestic as well as international institutions, thought leaders and gender experts,” the SBP statement added.

Published in Dawn, September 17th, 2021

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