| GEO World|
| Bank only for women opens in Iraq|
| Updated at: 0726 PST, Monday, November 23, 2009|
BAGHDAD: An Iraqi bank has opened a branch entirely dedicated to and operated by women in the holy Shiite city of Najaf, south of Baghdad, Geo news reported on Sunday.
Director of the bank, Amira Issa said the branch was opened in October to meet the needs of women in the city.
"The idea of opening a women bank has come upon a request from female businesswomen as other ordinary banks are very crowded," Issa said.
Even the head of the bank is not allowed to enter the branch because he is male.
The only men working for the branch are security guards stationed outside.
The branch provides regular bank services including loans and savings accounts in both Iraqi dinars and US dollars.
One client, Um Hussein, described the all-female concept as "a good thing bestowed by almighty God".
"Now Muslim women can freely conduct our business in this bank as it is run by female staffers," she added.
The bank is considering expanding the new model to other parts of Iraq.