PTA Collaborates with Jazz & other telcos to reduce gender digital gap

Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has collaborated with Telecom operators and other stakeholders to reduce digital gender gap in Pakistan via initiatives related to accessibility, affordability and digital skills. PTA signed agreements with the companies at the ‘Connected Pakistan: Accelerating Gender Inclusion in ICTs.

Shaping Digital Futures’ event organized by PTA. The event focused on gender inclusion in ICTs and facilitating the digital empowerment of women in Pakistan through collaboration with national and international companies.

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation, Dr. Sania Nishtar graced the occasion as chief guest. Parliamentarians, Federal Secretary for IT & Telecom, Dr. Muhammad Sohail Rajput; Chairman PTA; Maj. General Amir Azeem Bajwa (R), Members of the Authority, CEOs of Jazz, Telenor and PTCL group along with representatives from CMPak (Zong), Ufone, Special Communication Organization (SCO), Huawei Pakistan, members from international organizations and civil society attended the event.

Speaking at the event, Dr. Sania Nishtar appreciated PTA’s proactive and inclusive approach towards digital connectivity. She said that growth in digital financial services should be leveraged to bring women into formal economy. She mentioned that Ehsaas programme is a major initiative for women empowerment and digital inclusion.

Federal Secretary for IT & Telecom stated that Government of Pakistan is taking elaborate steps to realize the Digital Pakistan vision for the people of Pakistan with focus on far-off areas to enhance connectivity. He said that female participation in ICTs is increasing and further initiatives are being undertaken to include women in the tech sector.

At the event, Chairman PTA said that PTA is committed to ensure access to all and improve gender inclusion in ICTs in Pakistan. He said that change is possible when all stakeholders synergize their actions toward the objective of bridging the digital gender divide. He thanked the ITU, UNESCO and GSMA for extending their support as well as national partners such as Cellular Mobile Operators (CMOs) and Huawei Pakistan.

In this regard, the CEO of Jazz, Aamir Ibrahim, said, “Considering the importance of women to lead Pakistan into the future, Jazz commits to accelerating digital gender equality. We have programs in place to enhance digital literacy among girls, maximising female led enterprises in the startup ecosystem, promoting diversity & inclusion within our workplace besides enabling women to access health, financial, and other life-enhancing services through mobile broadband. It is heartening to see PTA also championing women inclusion in ICT to create a digitally inclusive Pakistan.”

The event also included special video messages from ITU Telecommunication Development Bureau, UNESCO and GSMA. The UNESCO announced its collaboration with PTA on developing a digital inclusion strategy and gender parity in access to ICTs. GSMA’s Mobile Internet Skills Training Toolkit (MISTT) in Urdu language will teach people the basic skills they need to access and use mobile internet. The event also included keynote presentations from CMOs.