EXPLAINER: SBP hammers out ways to narrow gender diversity in finance

State Bank of Pakistan has recently kicked into effect a policy named ‘Banking on Equality’ that sets some targets towards narrowing gender inequality in the finance sector.

It is aimed at diminishing the yawning gap between what bears semblance of civilization, where men and women don’t anymore quibble over basic and established human rights debate and the gloomy state in the country where hardly 14.5 million women have bank accounts out of over 100 million of them head-counted according to last official census.

The targets being:

– Improving gender diversity by ensuring 20 per cent of employees in all SBP-regulated financial institutions are women;
– Introducing women-centric products and services in the banks;
– Every bank branch needs to have women desks by 2024;
– Collecting gender-disaggregated data, particularly to build on how women are doing in finance sector and to set more targets;
– Setting up a Policy Forum on Gender at the central bank.

The inclusion of more women in the finance sentor will mean expanded client-base, more financial activity and an uptick in the inception of new enterprises.

The youth bulge or surge in population, which at the moment is blamed for the splurge of limited resources, will then contribute to GDP growth and increased capacity of country to afford the utilities it does not produce.

Also, more women in the workforce mean more robust response when a gender-related issue is raised. This will only progress and rampant issues that now are turned a deaf ear to, will be resolved on priority basis.

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Targets set now will see their completion by 2024, according to the central bank and would translate into a society more tolerant and accepting of gender equality.

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