In partnership with the Women’s Business Forum, Bank of Palestine conducted a banking awareness workshop for women in its main branch in Bethlehem, with participation from a number of business woman and owners of small businesses.

Mrs. Raya Sbitany, Manager of Business and products Development Department at the Bank of Palestine, opened the workshop by clarifying the role that the Bank plays in educating women about financial and banking services and their methods of usage, in addition to the procedures followed in developing and advancing the financial knowledge for the Bank’s services. Sbitany also explained how woman should select the products and programs suitable for them and receive adequate information to avoid risks and to contribute to economic and social development.

Sbitany indicated that the Bank dedicates a large part of its social responsibility to the Palestinian women, to empower them and assist them in overcoming life’s various difficulties and to encourage them to actively participate in the social and economical life with its different sectors.

This workshop is part of the non-financial advisory services provided by the Bank, which are an integrated package of programs that aim to support women through banking awareness needed to manage family and project expenses and introduce for them the services and products provided by the Bank for women.

The workshop focused on the Bank’s development and social roles and on clarifying the banking business concepts, including: what is a bank, the need for banking services and access to these services, accounts and their types, deposits, checks, types of facilitations, types of card and their usage and advantages, international financial transfers and their features, electronic banking services and other needed services.

Bank of Palestine believes that women’s empowerment begins with ensuring them equality in rights and job duties inside the Bank, providing a comfortable and compatible work environment for female employees and grant special privileges for working mothers, as the bank worked over the years to increase the number of female employees. By the end of year 2013, percentage of female employees reached 25%, compared to 17% in 2008. The bank aims to increase the percentage of female employees to 50% and increase the number of women in senior management positions.

In addition to supporting women outside the Bank, as the Bank aspires to reach all women segments, including business owners, employees and housewives, through the development of products and services that fit their need, seeking to improve the living standards for the Palestinian women, which will positively reflect on the Palestinian family, economy and society as a whole. The development of investment opportunities and the promotion of local economic growth are reinforced through empowerment and encouragement of women and by providing them with opportunities for further participation in the economic sector.