In recent years, there has been a growing awareness of the need for gender equality in all aspects of society, including the banking industry. According to the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), gender equality refers to the principle of equal rights, opportunities, and treatment for all individuals, regardless of their gender.
It involves the recognition and promotion of the equal value and dignity of both men and women, and the elimination of gender-based discrimination, stereotypes, and biases. Some of the banks in Ghana that have been recognized for their efforts to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment include Ecobank Ghana, Stanbic Bank Ghana, Fidelity, Access Bank, and Republic Bank of Ghana, Ghana Commercial Bank among many others.
Gender-friendly banking is a concept that refers to financial institutions that prioritize the needs and interests of all genders equally. In Ghana, there are several banks that are recognized for their gender-friendly policies and practices. Some key features of a gender-friendly bank may include; a bank that recognizes and addresses the unique financial needs and challenges faced by women by making financial products and services that meet the diverse needs of women accessible and affordable which includes loans, savings accounts, insurance, and investment opportunities.
Also, these banks have flexible lending criteria that take into account non-traditional forms of collateral, such as assets held jointly with a spouse, or alternative forms of income, such as informal work. These banks have policies and practices that promote gender equality and women’s empowerment, such as hiring practices that prioritize gender balance and career advancement opportunities for women, and customer support that provides women with information, guidance, and support to help them make informed financial decisions.
Many institutions are patriarchal in nature; therefore this write-up will look more into banks in Ghana that give special recognition to female folks while in the discharge of their duties.
Ecobank Ghana is recognized for its efforts to promote gender equality. The bank has a Gender Policy that outlines its commitment to promoting gender equality in all aspects of its operations. Ecobank Ghana has also implemented several initiatives aimed at empowering women, such as the Women’s Leadership Programme, which provides training and mentorship to women employees.
A FRIENDLY SERVICE AT ECOBANK
Stanbic Bank Ghana
Stanbic Bank Ghana is another bank that has demonstrated a commitment to promoting gender equality. The bank has a ‘Women in Business initiative’ that provides financing and business advisory services to women entrepreneurs. There is also, a ‘ Women’s Market Program’ that provides women entrepreneurs with financial solutions that cater to their unique needs. They offer training and mentoring programs, access to credit facilities, and business advisory services.
FIDELITY BANK PROVIDES SERVICES AS A GENDER-FRIENDLY BANK
Fidelity Bank Ghana
Another bank that has made significant strides in promoting gender equality is Fidelity Bank Ghana. The bank has a ‘Women in Business initiative’ that provides financing and business advisory services to women entrepreneurs. There is a Diversity and Inclusion Committee, which is responsible for ensuring that the bank’s policies and practices are inclusive and promote diversity. Fidelity Bank Ghana has a Women in Business Club that provides women entrepreneurs with financial and non-financial support to grow their businesses. They offer business advisory services, networking opportunities, and access to credit facilities.
Access Bank Ghana
Access Bank Ghana has been recognized as one of the most gender-friendly banks in Ghana. The bank has implemented several initiatives aimed at promoting gender equality and empowering women. Access Bank Ghana has a dedicated Women Banking Unit that provides financial products and services tailored to meet the needs of women entrepreneurs. They offer training programs, mentorship opportunities, and access to credit facilities. For instance, Access Bank Ghana has a Women’s Banking initiative that provides specialized financial products and services to women-owned businesses. The bank also runs a Women’s Network, which provides a platform for women employees to connect, share experiences, and support each other.
Republic Bank Ghana
Republic Bank Ghana has a Women’s Initiative that aims to empower women entrepreneurs through access to credit facilities, financial literacy programs, and mentorship opportunities. They also offer business advisory services and networking opportunities.
GCB Bank Limited
GCB Bank Limited is another bank that has made significant efforts to promote gender equality. The bank has a Women in a Business initiative that provides financing and business advisory services to women entrepreneurs. GCB Bank Limited also has a Women’s Forum, which provides a platform for women employees to network, share experiences, and support each other. They offer access to credit facilities, training and mentoring programs, and business advisory services.
GCB: A GENDER-FRIENDLY BANK, PROVIDING EQUAL SERVICE TO ALL PEOPLE
There is still much work to be done to create a truly gender-friendly banking sector in Ghana. However, these banks are setting a positive example by implementing policies and initiatives aimed at promoting gender equality and empowering women. By promoting gender equality in the banking sector, these banks are helping to create a more inclusive and equitable society for all.