Staying true to its commitment of empowering societies and contributing to the country’s socio-economic uplift, Telenor Pakistan is fulfilling its pledge under World Bank’s Girls Learn Women Earn (GLWE) programme by expanding its reach to empower the underserved female entrepreneurs of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. This initiative is being taken in collaboration with Creative Innovative Unit (CIU), a platform established by Directorate of Science and Technology (DoST) KPK.
The ceremony was held at CIU’s office in Peshawar, where an MoU was signed between Telenor Pakistan and Creative Innovation Unit. Madiha Parvez, Head of Corporate Innovation & Digital Education, Telenor Pakistan and Bilal Jabbar, Project Director, CIU signed on behalf of the two organisations. Zia Ullah Khan Bangash, Advisor to Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Science & Technology and Information Technology, Secretary ST&IT and other representatives from both organisations were also present.
Under this agreement, Telenor Pakistan with the assistance of CIU will train 500 aspiring women entrepreneurs on digital and design thinking skills focusing on, digital marketing, digital customer channels and digital finance. The speakers at the ceremony highlighted the issues faced female entrepreneurs and how the initiatives like GLWE can facilitate prospective solutions to improve female labour participation rate in the country, which currently stands at only 26%. GLWE aims to support girls’ education and women’s contribution in the work force to raise their participation in the economy to 45% by 2025.
“We are extremely pleased to join hands with Creative Innovative Unit for reducing gender gaps in Pakistan’s workforce by digitally empowering 500 businesswomen, said Khurrum Ashfaque, Chief Operating Officer, Telenor Pakistan. “Telenor Pakistan is committed to closing the digital gender gap and looks forward to uplifting and developing business leaders of tomorrow. To support national development and digitalisation efforts, it is pertinent to provide equal opportunity to the underserved female population.” He further added.
“Approximately half of Pakistan’s population constitutes of females, but they are underrepresented at the workplace. We are living in a digital age and doubtlessly, women’s empowerment through education and upskilling will not only improve their personal lives but also boost the socio-economic growth of Pakistan. Having a diverse workforce is the key to fostering innovation and meeting the challenges of a dynamic marketplace. Using digital technology and with the help of institutions like Telenor Pakistan and Creative Innovative Unit, we can give women access to information and open up avenues of opportunities.” said, Mr. Zia Ullah Bangash, Advisor to CM for Science & Technology and Information Technology.
Earlier this year, Telenor Pakistan partnered with World Bank for the Girls Learn Women Earn Initiative with a pledge to train 1000 female entrepreneurs and a commitment to create awareness, champion advocacy and take action to support girls’ education and women’s participation in the labor force. Telenor Pakistan’s ACTIVATE has trained 200 women on design thinking and digital design skills till now, enabling them to rapidly and efficiently gain new and important skills and competencies.