A forum on women's empowerment in the financial sector kicked off in Beirut on Friday, focusing on women's role in Arab social development.
In a keynote speech, Lebanese Minister of State for Women's Affairs Jean Ogasapian called for involving women in social improvement and prosperity.
He said Arab official institutions and bodies should seek to invest women's capabilities to achieve social growth. The forum was co-organized by the World Union of Arab Bankers (WUAB) and the Arab League's Arab Women Organization.
WUAB President Joseph Torbey said that comprehensive and sustainable development is a core social goal that can be notched up with the help of women who make up one half of society.
He added that for a society to be developed, women should be involved, noting that human development should be based on women's empowerment.
He regretted that although women make more than half of the world's population, they own only one percent of the world's wealth, obtain just 10 percent of its income, and hold merely 14 percent of leading world posts in both public and private sectors.
On the forum, the WUAB president said it mainly aims at stressing women's involvement in economic sectors for stronger economies and more stable societies.
Director-General of the Arab Women Organization Mervat Telawi said the companies where three women hold leading positions are more productive than others, citing relevant UN statistics.
She boasted Arab women have made recent reasonable successes in Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia and even Iraq, but there are still major challenges women are facing due to existing wars and conflicts.
Telawi emphasized that Arab banks should provide necessary facilities for women's empowerment in the economic and financial domain. Regrettably, 1.33 billion women across the world have no bank accounts, she lamented.