Hayati Program Marks Outstanding Rates of Gender Inclusion for 2017
The National Bank (TNB), which runs a first-of-its-kind initiative in the banking sector that provides comprehensive financial and banking products for Palestinian women, has announced the outcomes of its contribution to the financial gender inclusion through its Hayati program for 2017. The results indicated that the program saw higher rates if compared to the country’s rates of gender inclusion marking 96% increase in accounts owned by females since 2015 and until year end 2017.
As per the survey conducted on financial inclusion by Palestine Economic Policy Research Institute (MAS) and performed in cooperation with the Palestine Monetary Authority (PMA) and the Palestine Capital Market Authority (PCMA), the results show that women holding current accounts in Palestine mark 11.4% while TNB female clients holding current accounts mark 22.2%. At TNB, women holding savings accounts make more than 51% of the bank’s customers, compared to 6.4% in the rest of Palestine.
TNB Chief Executive Officer Ahmad Hajhasan expressed his pleasure at the results of the survey, as well as the fact that Palestinian women consider TNB their financial destination and incubator in the country. He also affirmed that the results reveal the success that TNB has had in meeting the financial needs of Palestinian women by providing them with essential banking products, which positively affects their financial inclusion. Due to the resounding success of the program, TNB has been recognized regionally as the best bank for empowering women, receiving the award from CPI Financial and its affiliate The Banker Middle East magazine, as well as an award from the Union of Arab Banks on its pioneering role in women financial empowerment.
Hajhasan stressed the importance of developing specialized banking products for women and involving them in the economic process, which improves local economies, as women represent half the Palestinian society. And although women see higher rates of education than men in Palestine, a gap still exists in terms of their contribution to the work force. TNB is a pioneer in the Palestinian banking market in terms of women’s participation in the work place, with a ratio of 33%, as opposed to the 19.1% for the rest of the Palestinian labor market. Hajhasan went on to add that TNB’s women employees attain high managerial positions, and two women sit on the bank’s Board of Directors.
Also indicated in the survey was the fact that women seeking MSME financing mark 21% of TNB’s clients’ base, and 21% utilize the bank’s e-services.
Hajhasan also spoke of the program’s successes, which have changed the lives of many Palestinian women, economically empowering them and providing financial security for them and their families. He noted that small projects that contributed directly to creating new job opportunities and improving the living standards not only for beneficiaries but also their families, their communities and those who work on the projects. The program has helped numerous women achieve their entrepreneurial aspirations, and has provided them with the opportunity to accomplish creative excellence.
Hajhasan affirmed that TNB will continue to realize its vision through the economic empowerment of women and contributing towards increasing their financial inclusion ratios, as it believes in their role and ability to make a difference.