Telenor Commits Greater Digital & Financial Inclusion of Pakistani Women by 2020

Telenor Commits Greater Digital & Financial Inclusion of Pakistani Women by 2020

In line with its vision to empower societies and in a strategic endorsement of the GSMA’s Connected Women Initiative, Telenor Pakistan has committed to increase the proportion of women in its subscriber base by the year 2020.

Telenor Pakistan’s two-pronged commitment states increasing the proportion of women in its mobile internet customer base from 40% to 48%; and mobile money customer base (mobile accounts & social disbursements) from 10% to 15% by 2020 in Pakistan.

The commitment comes as part of the GSMA’s ‘Connected Women’ Initiative that aims to reduce the gender gap in mobile internet and mobile money services in low- and middle-income countries and unlock significant socio-economic opportunities.

“Telenor Pakistan is proud to join hands with the GSMA in a collective effort to connect women around the world. In Pakistan, over 51% of the population is women and as one of the largest digital services providers in the country, we deem it our responsibility to act to create gender parity in our customer base,” said Irfan Wahab Khan, CEO, Telenor Pakistan. “We are committed to bring the benefits of telecom and digital technology to women in Pakistan to empower them to support their families, and in turn, contribute to the socio-economic prosperity of the country at large. Our endorsement of the GSMA’s Connected Women Initiative comes with the commitment to increase the proportion of women in our mobile internet customer base from 40% to 48%, and mobile money customer base from 10% to 15% by 2020,” he added.

“Widening access to mobile services in Pakistan is critical; it is an important topic that business leaders and governments must address,” said Claire Sibthorpe, Head of Connected Women, GSMA. “In a country with such a high gender gap in mobile services, Telenor Pakistan’s commitment to increase the share of women in its customer base is all the more important. Mobile ownership can have a transformative effect on women’s lives, for example by providing access to vital financial services, which women are 45 per cent less likely to have access to than men in Pakistan. Ensuring digital and financial inclusion for women is essential because when women thrive, societies and economies thrive.”

Telenor Pakistan’s efforts to bring women into the digital and financial mainstream include mAgri (mobile agriculture) for women, which provides agronomic information to women farmers in Pakistan to maximize crop yields.

The Sindh Education Reform Program (SERP), and Benazir Income Support Program (BISP) have chosen Easypaisa, Pakistan’s first mobile financial service and a product of Telenor Microfinance Bank for transparent and timely disbursements of social and educational stipend entitlements to women living in rural areas with no access to formal financial services.

Read complete announcement by GSMA here

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