KARACHI, Dec 19 (APP):State Bank of Pakistan will hold a webinar on ” Consultative Launch of Banking on Equality policy: Reducing the Gender Gap in Financial Inclusion on Monday to initiate a national dialogue on women’s financial inclusion.

The webinar , scheduled to start 1730 hours , will be shown live on State Bank’s Facebook page [https://www.facebook.com/StateBankPakistan]. It aims to promote awareness about the significance of women’s financial inclusion and to hold discussions among distinguished international thought leaders to find practical solutions to give a boost to women’s financial inclusion in the country, said SBP statement here on Saturday.

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 have an active bank account against 51% men.

For addressing 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 titled Banking on Equality, which aims to promote women financial inclusion in the country, said SBP statement here on Saturday.

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“Banking on Equality: Reducing the Gender Gap in Financial Inclusion”, is a flagship policy initiative of State Bank of Pakistan for promoting women financial inclusion. The policy will introduce a gender lens within the financial sector through specific measures to bring a shift towards gender friendly business practices.

SBP Governor, Dr. Reza Baqir will host the consultative launch of the Banking on Equality policy 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 would include Princess Zahra Aga Khan Director Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), Ms. Ceyla Pazarbasioglu from IMF and Dr. Reza Baqir Governor, State Bank of Pakistan while Dr. Anita Zaidi from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) will moderate the panel discussion.

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Princess Zahra has been playing leadership role within the Aga Khan Development Network, including as Trustee of the Aga Khan University and the University of Central Asia.

Ms. Ceyla Pazarbasioglu is Director of the Strategy, Policy, and Review Department (SPR) of the International Monetary Fund. In this capacity, she leads the work on the IMF’s strategic direction and the design, implementation, and evaluation of Fund policies. Ms. Pazarbasioglu previously served as Vice President at the World Bank Group.

The panel moderator, Dr. Anita Zaidi, is the President of Gender Equality at Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Dr. Zaidi is overseeing a division comprised of the Foundation’s Gender Equality program team and Gender Program Advocacy and Communications team.