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Role of banking sector in women empowerment


First Women Bank Limited is a unique financial institution, a scheduled commercial bank, set up in 1989 by the then Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, who wanted a bank that would meet the banking needs of women. It was incorporated in the public sector as a Public Limited Company on 21st November 1989 under the Companies Ordinance, 1984.

The Bank commenced its business on 2nd December 1989 with a paid up capital of Rs100 million; 90% of which was contributed in varying proportions by five leading public sector banks of the country. They were:

  1. National Bank of Pakistan
  2. Habib Bank Limited
  3. Muslim Commercial Bank Limited
  4. United Bank Limited and Allied Bank Limited
  5. 10% of the remaining capital came from the Federal Government

First Women Bank Limited (FWBL) also extends loans to businesswomen for establishment of new business of existing business, and for working capital.


It is a one of its kind deposit product designed specifically for ladies segment. The product offers various benefitsincluding Free Medical & Life Insurance along with discounts on other services. The overall features of the product empower the ladies to enjoy financial independence and security in case of an unfortunate health emergency.


After FWBL, Allied Bank has introduced Khanum Asaan Account in our society which includes women in the role of entrepreneur, doctor, teacher, engineer, housewife etc. having significant goals and challenges for accessing financial services as Allied Bank supports women empowerment, its importance and need in our society. Khanum Asaan Account provides an exclusive and priority access to financial services and empowering women to take better care of their investments. Khanum Asaan Account provides a complete solution for banking and lifestyle needs to female segment. The bank is constantly expanding its all-female branch network to provide women only banking services for the convenience of female customers.



SCB has also come up with an account titled ’Women’s account’ that is designed specifically to cater to the financial needs of women.


JS Women’s Savings Plan is Pakistan’s first Insurance Program designed around the needs of women. Whether you are a housewife or a working woman, the plan ensures that your savings continue to grow every year, allowing you to remain confident every step of your life. JS Women’s Savings Plan is underwritten by EFU Life Assurance Ltd. The plan offers various benefits some of which are:

  • Death benefit
  • Maturity benefit
  • Inflation protection
  • Waiver of premium
  • Life care benefit
  • Accidental death and disability benefit
  • Medical recovery benefit
  • Family income benefit

The product is available to both housewives and working women between the ages of 18 to 55 years. The minimum term of the plan is 10 years whereas the maximum term is 25 years; subject to a maximum age of 70 at maturity.

The writer is a Karachi based freelance columnist and is a banker by profession. He could be reached on Twitter @ReluctantAhsan

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