Jazz, Pakistan’s leading digital operator and a part of the VEON Group, has signed an agreement with UN Women to introduce digital and financial literacy programs for women-led microbusinesses in underprivileged areas. Under this program, by 2025, 10,000 women micro-entrepreneurs will also be provided free sims, internet data, calls and SMS bundles, and JazzCash Wallets. The idea behind this collaboration is to close the digital gender gap by providing women with skillsets to thrive in the fast-evolving digital economy.
Additionally, Jazz will be offering gender financing and micro-mobility solutions, awareness campaigns, upskill trainings, advocacy, and thought leadership programs to reduce gender-based violence including sexual harassment and declassifying prejudicial gender roles that hinder women’s progress. The programs reflect the company’s commitment towards United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), particularly SDG 5 – Gender Equality.
While women make up half of the country’s population, unfortunately, women’s labour participation in the country rests at only 21 percent. These metrics are the focus of this collaboration and will be tackled through a customised curriculum to train and enable aspiring women entrepreneurs on digital skills and providing access to internet data and technology products to support their business endeavors.
Aamir Ibrahim, CEO, Jazz reiterated the importance of building an inclusive society where women are empowered through digital and financial inclusion, “Our collaboration with UN Women is a testament towards our commitment to improve the lives and livelihood of women in Pakistan through technology. Providing women with tools and resources to improve their economic capabilities will unlock larger societal benefits, including poverty eradication, reduce the digital gender divide resulting in economic growth.”
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Sharmeela Rassool, Country Representative, UN Women Pakistan applauded Jazz’s efforts towards building an inclusive digital ecosystem. “The private sector has an important role to play to address public perceptions of women using mobile technology. Especially, normalizing women’s use of mobile and raising awareness of how owning and using a mobile phone can benefit women and their families”.
Jazz is also the signatory to the global Women’s Empowerment Principles, a set of Principles offering guidance to businesses on how to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment in the workplace, marketplace, and community. As part of the GSMA’s Connected Women Commitment Initiative, Jazz has committed to increase the proportion of women by 8 percent in its mobile internet customer base by 2023. While JazzCash is aiming to increase its female customer base to 50 percent in the next few years – currently, 27 percent women are subscribed to JazzCash wallets.