This Middle Eastern Perfumed Credit Card Has Got Us Eye-Rolling

by Jamie Bogert

Obviously, the best way to get women interested in securing their financial freedom is to lure them in with perfumed credit cards, right? That’s one marketing strategy an Islamic bank has implemented in order to grab the attention of the growing population of women working in the Gulf region.

Al Hilal Bank PJSC, a Shariah-compliant lender owned by the Abu Dhabi government, has been wafting The Laha Card (whose Arabic name translates to “for her”) in employed women’s faces since last month, and they plan on continuing to for the foreseeable future.

While we yawn in the face of age-old stereotypical marketing to heed our attention, we do love the effort put out there based on the growing economic power of women. The proportion of the female population in the labor market jumped to an average 38 percent from 28 in the two decades prior to 2014, according to World Bank data. Women’s net worth in the Gulf Cooperation Council is also expected to grow as much as 15 percent (about $258 billion) between 2013 and 2023.

The majority of women within the GCC have their own bank accounts, which is amazing, but senior positions held by females still remain limited. Perhaps we need to stop puffing plumes of perfume in their faces and start empowering them to step up in leadership roles worldwide.

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