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Women’s bank opening doors

Government making strides in promoting equality
AS Zambia celebrates its golden jubilee, I wish to announce that my ministry has made steady progress towards the establishment of the Women’s Bank which will, among other products, facilitate access to affordable and appropriate banking and financial services to women, especially the poor in rural areas.
It is envisioned that the Women’s Bank will open its doors to the public on March 8, 2015 on International Women’s Day. This is our Golden Jubilee gift to the women of Zambia.
The nation may wish to recall that from July 19 to 23, 2014 the Ministry of Gender and Child Development hosted the National Women Economic Empowerment Jubilee Expo at which it was resolved that in order to fully empower women economically, there was need to establish a Women’s Bank tailored to address the concerns of financial inclusion outlined in the Finscope Survey of 2005 and 2009 commissioned by the Bank of Zambia.
In this regard, a Task Force has been formed to look into the modalities of establishing the said Bank. The establishment of the Women’s Bank is not unique to Zambia. Some successful examples are Tanzania, Ethiopia, India, Bangladesh and Pakistan.
The establishment of the Women’s Bank is ground-breaking because it will not only address the factors that inhibit the women from participating in the country’s formal saving and payment system as entrepreneurs  but  also as agents for sustainable job and wealth creation.
Currently there are many micro institutions but there has been little progress regarding women’s financial empowerment. This shows that as long as we remain at micro level, we will not achieve the desired results.
There is nothing ‘micro’ about leaving more than half the population of the country struggling to access affordable and appropriate financing services.
God Bless the Women of Zambia and Happy Golden Jubilee.

Honourable INONGE WINA, MP

Minister of Gender and Child Development.