Commit for Implementation of 15% of Public Sector Bank Branches as #AllWomenBanks by 2020

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In India, socio-cultural restrictions prevent the empowerment of women and their bargaining and decision-taking strength. There are multiple inherent disadvantages that discourage women from approaching banks, who in turn, do not often inspire their confidence.

The Committee on Empowerment of Women tabled its report in 2014-15 making at least 15% public sector banks branches all-women offices cater to multiple needs of women customers better. The Report emphasizes that gender-inclusive financial sector policies have to gear in several dimensions for broader, deeper inclusion of women in formal financial markets

All-women branches are focused at enabling economic empowerment, addressing needs of women across all strata, in both urban and rural areas by:

  1. Facilitating inclusive growth through access to financial services
  2. Eliminating lending bias against women
  3. Promoting entrepreneurship and asset ownership by women
  4. Supporting women’s livelihood and self-help groups
  5. Promoting financial literacy amongst women

Employing women with a much safer and convenient working environment, especially in rural India where discrimination against women have traditionally been on high than the rest of the country, will make women feel comfortable to access a banking system that is devoid of gender biases as well as non-discriminatory towards them.

The Government has given a positive response and also assured of establishing 70 new branches, including 14 branches in rural areas, during 2015-16 but it turned out to be hollow promise, as the Government had no clear-cut policy to promote all-women bank branches in the public sector.

As of now, only 17 public sector banks have opened a total 301 all-women branches out of which Indian Overseas Bank and State Bank of India have opened 60 and 119 all-women branches respectively.

Most of the other PSBs have done very little towards establishing adequate number of all-women branches as there is no Compliance and Audit for implementation. At present women comprise about 24% of the workforce of Public Sector Banks and more than half are in the clerical cadre. 

Sign my petition asking the parties coming to power to commit for implementation of 15% of public sector Bank Branches #AllWomenBranch by 2020.

A bold step in the right direction envisioning economic empowerment of women was the first Bhartiya Mahila Bank established in 2013 with key objective to focus on the banking needs of women. Unfortunately, this initiative couldn’t survive due to negligence and lack of promotion by Government with stronger policies, and all 103 branches got merged with SBI in 2017 in the name of banking reform.

Sign this petition urging political leaders to commit before election for implementation of 15% of public sector bank branches to be #AllWomenBranches by 2020.

This will serve the dual purposes of improving women participation in banking workforce along with expanding the mandate for women empowerment through financial inclusion.

#AllWomenBranches #WomenBanks #FinancialLiteracyforWomen #SheVotes2019