In collaboration with the women-led not-for-profit tech startup CIRCLE, L’Oréal Fund for Women celebrated the Digital Literacy Program graduating batch in Islamabad.
Launched in March 2022, over 5,000 women across 80 cities have been trained in this program, meeting the target set out at the program’s inception.
With its collaborative Digital Literacy Program, L’Oréal Fund for Women hopes to positively impact and improve the statistics of women participating in society as active citizens.
By providing a platform to empower and support women in their quest to become financially independent and to become a driving force in the economy, L’Oréal Fund for Women and CIRCLE are resolute in reducing the gender disparity that exists today.
Held in Islamabad with the head of Prime Minister of Pakistan’s Strategic Reforms, Mr. Salman Sufi, as the Chief Guest, the event focused on celebrating the exemplary women who are taking charge of their future by embracing new skills under the Digital Literacy Program, enabling them to navigate the digital space, as well as to learn integral skills that will enable them to participate in the online economy.
The event also featured addresses from, Qawi Naseer, Country Managing Director L’Oréal Pakistan, CIRCLE founder Sadaffe Abid and Ambassador of France H.E Nicolas Galey, focusing on the need for women to become more digitally literate and how this could be used to empower them.
It aimed to encourage graduates to share their skills with those around them, helping the broader female population gain strength in numbers.
The head of Prime Minister of Pakistan’s Strategic Reforms, Salman Sufi, said, “Women empowerment is an area of critical importance. At the office of the Prime Minister, we consistently strive to introduce reforms which build great empowerment of women with strong avenues for financial stability.”
“In Pakistan, women make up 51% of the population but are still dependent on the men in their communities; it is therefore critically important we introduce projects and platforms which promote independence – financially and through empowerment initiatives.”
“I commend L’Oréal Paris Pakistan and CIRCLE for providing such a platform and building such an important initiative, which not only has provided thousands of women with digital skills training but is also striving to change lives and communities,” he added.
Ambassador of France, H.E Nicolas Galey, said, “This is an important event and in particular I thank L’Oréal for this very ambitious and inclusive social and environmental responsibility policy. I do not forget, of course, the emergency aid provided by L’Oréal to UNHCR for the flood affectees. It is our strong view that no society can progress if women are not fully involved.”
“Gender equality is obviously a question of human rights and basic justice, but also a key factor for development. France is strongly committed to the cause, and I believe that the role of the private sector is as crucial as that of government. I’m very happy and proud that L’Oréal takes initiatives like this program, which is a great contribution to women’s empowerment,” he added.
Addressing the event and the graduates, L’Oréal Pakistan’s Managing Director, Qawi Naseer stated, “I am so deeply inspired by the success of the Digital Literacy Program and the impact it has had on the lives of all the women that took a part in it, L’Oréal Fund for Women x CIRCLE aimed to educate 5000 women in Pakistan by the end of 2022 – a goal which has now been realized.”
“We are proud to have contributed to their mission for women’s empowerment. This is an occasion to celebrate the success of our alumni – a shining example of what benefit can be achieved with effort and dedication,” he added.
CIRCLE founder and CEO, Sadaffe Abid, said, “In today’s world, access to internet and digital literacy is a fundamental human right. I feel proud to share that our Digital Literacy Program graduates have learned digital tools, set up businesses, and become active contributors to Pakistan’s economic growth.”
“Women at the bottom of the pyramid face many challenges compounded by the tough economic scenario but they have shown courage and resilience learning new skills and striving for economic wellbeing of their families,” she added.
The Digital Literacy Program was initially designed and piloted during the pandemic with the support of UN Women in 2020 and trained 500 low-income women with home-based businesses.
The partnership between CIRCLE and L’Oréal Fund for Women covered multiple Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the United Nations, particularly SDG 5 (Gender Equality), SDG 8 (Inclusive Economic Growth), and SDG 17 (Partnerships).
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