Zimbabwe’s First Women’s Bank To Open This Month

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At long last, Zimbabwe’s first women’s bank, Zimbabwe Women Micro-finance Bank (ZWMB) is going to open this month following a series of missed deadlines to open it. This comes after ZWMB was granted its license last week. 

Women-only banks trace their genesis to Saudi Arabia in the 90s as a way of segregating man and woman. But world over, the idea of having a women’s bank was conceived out of the concern that women’s banking needs were not being adequately met. 

ZWMB will be initially supported by POSB through using some of its branches and the Ministry of Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development.  Sithembiso Nyoni, Minister of Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development said;

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The significant hindrance to women’s potential to achieve their greatness has been financial exclusion, which the new dispensation has given priority to redress through the establishment of the Zimbabwe Women Micro-finance Bank….I wish to inform the nation that my Ministry, together with the bank and key stakeholders, has begun preparing for the launch of the bank to be done this month

By bringing in ZWMB in the financial system, the move will see Zimbabwe joining a growing number of countries that are opening such a type of a bank. The bank will operate parallel to Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe’s goal to increase financial inclusion

Why a women’s bank?

Studies show that women influence up to 80% of household buying decisions worldwide but 73% of them report being unsatisfied with their banking services. Zimbabwean women are said to be unsatisfied with the current bank services because banks are developing products that don’t resonate with female consumers. For example, women generally are reported to be more responsible borrowers with a more conservative approach than men.

Therefore, banks are just creating bank products that are just one-size-fits-all with men that have an aggressive approach (or as some put it, reckless approach) in borrowing. In this regard, Zimbabwean women want a bank that serves their borrowing characteristics for instance

I think in previous years (and perhaps currently), banks in Zimbabwe simply lacked data breakdowns by gender that’s why women were underserved. Lion Finance is one financial institution currently (that I know of) in Zimbabwe that seem to be paying attention to women’s banking needs. In order to succeed in tapping the market for women’s banking services, ZWMB will perhaps start collecting the data and start to offer products befitting to women’s requirements.  

Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) is the central bank of Zimbabwe. Its offices are located at number 80 Samora Machel Avenue in Harare. The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe operates under the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Act, Chapter 22: 15 of 1964. The Act provides... Read More About Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe

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5 Comments

  1. MacdChip says:

    I do not understand this at all. Women all over the world including Zim are fight to be treated equally in workplaces and almost every space, but then the go and open a women only bank!!!

    1. Farai Mudzingwa says:

      Yeah, I find that a bit confusing as well…

  2. Nice says:

    Do the current banks actually choose accounts according to gender. What purpose does this actually serve… The minister has no other pressing issues.posb could have launched this themselves as a gimmick

    1. Vepano says:

      You said it right. I don’t see how this called for a whole bank to be opened. I would argue that there are men who are also very conservative and disciplined in their borrowing habits, should they open accounts at the women only bank as well? This is a simple issue that RBZ wld have solved but having a sound credit rating system that allows less reckless borrowers to get lower interest rates.. This is a b******t, this government has nothing more to do

  3. Donald Kumbana says:

    Let us give the zw women their chance .wait it see gentlemen leave them alone and learn from them.

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