Asala held policy paper discussion session revolving around Women’s access to finance in Palestine
Ramallah- The Palestinian Businesswomen’s Association “Asala” held a policy paper presentation and discussion session on Monday titled "Women's Access to Finance in Palestine: Challenges and Opportunities" In cooperation with the Center for International Private Enterprise “CIPE” via Zoom.
A number of representatives of institutions and ministries participated in the session, the results of the study were prepared by Abdulaziz Al-Salhi, a researcher at the Social and Economic Policy Observatory in cooperation with the staff, which dealt with the reality of financing and the opportunities for women to obtain it in Palestine, and emphasized the most prominent difficulties that women face in obtaining the required financing, including social difficulties, in light of the existing social system.
The policy paper came out with a set of recommendations, the most important of which was the emphasis on the need to develop a national plan in which the Monetary Authority, lenders and relevant ministries intersect to reduce lending requirements, in addition to the need to reconsider the Palestinian Investment Promotion Law, as well as invite banks and lending companies to focus on increasing none personal development loans. The paper also recommended that women's associations and lending companies adopt the principle of achieving social justice as a mean and a goal, and work to intensify awareness campaigns and pressure decision-makers in the interest of females in obtaining funding.
Mrs. Raja Rantisi, Executive Director of the Asala Association, said during the session that funding is one of the most important obstacles for women entrepreneurs, noting that helping them overcome the funding hurdle is the most important factor that will enhance and facilitate their participation in the national economy. In order to implement the recommendations of the policy paper, indicating the need to adopt incentive policies for women, in order to encourage them to pursue their entrepreneurial work; thus, reinforcing the Asala Association's mission, which aims to empower Palestinian women economically.
In addition researcher Abdulaziz Al-Salhi stressed the need to work to raise the opportunities for women to obtain development loans, as he pointed out the importance of providing them with training and awareness workshops in order to build the capacities of women entrepreneurs more in terms of financial management, project management and marketing, and Al-Salhi called to start thinking seriously about establishing a social and agricultural bank in Palestine that provides good loans with very small interest that competes with commercial banks.
Representatives of institutions and ministries confirmed their readiness to unite efforts that would work to increase women's access to finance, and to adopt the recommendations that came out of the policy paper.
It is noteworthy to mention that this session falls within the mobilization, advocacy program and the policy agenda of the Palestinian Businesswomen Association- Asala.