Financial sector must promote policy focusing on women’s access: Sima Kamil

Staff Reporter BOL News

21st Sep, 2021. 07:10 pm

ISLAMABAD: State Bank of Pakistan’s Deputy Governor Sima Kamil urged the ‘financial sector to realise its role as a key player’ for the promotion of regulatory policy that focus on women’s access to finance and digital financial inclusion.

“The financial sector also needs to realise its role as a key player in advancing regulatory policy and strategies towards promoting women’s access to finance and digital financial inclusion,” said Kamil in her keynote address at UN Women’s convention on CSR4Women – The Untapped Potential.

A press release issued by the Norwegian Embassy said that senior SBP official highlighted the need for introducing digital channels for lending by the financial institutions and capacity building of women for effectively accessing these tools.

The UN agency had held the convention in Islamabad with the support of Norway. It brought together business leaders, CEOs of private companies, heads of chambers of commerce, development partners and corporate social responsibility (CSR) experts to deliberate on the potential role of CSR towards fostering inclusive economic opportunities for women.

“The nexus of corporate social responsibility and women’s economic empowerment presents four wins – for the private sector, the state, women and for us as UN Women Pakistan,” said UN Women Country Representative Sharmeela Rassool in her opening address. She vowed that the UN through collaborative efforts will achieve the vision of making Pakistan the 10th largest economy by 2047.

The convention provided an opportunity to recognise the role of women Home-Based Workers (HBWs), while identifying possibilities for their economic advancement in the CSR space.

“Evidence shows that HBWs contribute 1.5% of Pakistan’s GDP, the available data does not include those who are self-employed or contributing family workers,” read the press release. It cited the Labour Force Survey for 2017-2018 that had said that out of 5.26 million HBWs in Pakistan, 81% are women.

“HBWs are playing an increasingly important role in the economic growth of the country. However, their contribution is undervalued with limited recognition and legal protection,” it was highlighted.

During the convention the expert panel discussed the best practices and experiences from the CSR initiatives to identify opportunities for channeling CSR funds towards an economically secured future for women in Pakistan.

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