The women-led not-for-profit tech organization CIRCLE, collaborating with L’Oréal Fund for Women celebrated graduates of its Digital Literacy Program in Karachi this Tuesday with utmost gusto. The Digital Literacy Program aims to scale up digital literacy and financial skill to Pakistani women from less privileged backgrounds to gain access to the digital world and skills that are integral for participation in the online economy.

L’Oréal Fund for Women believes in advancing the role of women in the nation’s growth and development. Currently, Pakistani women represent only 25% of the labour workforce and 1% of entrepreneurship. Through this collaborative Digital Literacy Program, the teams endeavor to positively impact these statistics, supporting projects and initiatives to empower more women, bringing the gap.

The event, held at the Movenpick Hotel with Deputy Governor of State Bank of Pakistan, Sima Kamil, as the guest of honor aimed to promote and encourage the exemplary women who were able to redesign their lives by learning new skills under the Digital Literacy Program, thus providing them with the opportunity to participate in the online economy by gaining access to the digital world along with skills that are integral for the participation in the online economy, enabling them to excel in their relevant fields and keep at par with the requirements of being digitally sound in this era. Furthermore, this program offers the opportunity to build connections among their community of women and with other organizations that can support them in their entrepreneurial ventures.

The graduation event  was well attended with notable personalities pouring in their thoughts on the celebration. Country Representative, UN Women Pakistan.

“Digitalization has changed how we experience the world. Unfortunately, not every woman experiences this transformation. Ensuring women have equal access to and use of digital technologies is central to their economic empowerment”- Sharmeela Rassool, Country representative UN Women Pakistan.

Guest of Honor, Deputy Governor of State Bank of Pakistan Sima Kamil said, “I am truly inspired by the stories shared by the graduates of the Digital Literacy Program in partnership with CIRCLE and L’Oréal Fund for Women, about their journey and the positive impact of the program towards their personal and financial empowerment. State Bank of Pakistan is also proud to be working towards notable initiatives to ensure economic empowerment and financial inclusion of women in Pakistan.

At the State Bank we are part of daily conversations about the current difficult economic environment globally and in Pakistan, but being here and witnessing great positive initiatives taken for women empowerment sparks great hope and optimism for our future.”

Addressing the event and the graduates, L’Oréal Pakistan’s Managing Director, Junaid Murtaza stated, “We collaborated with CIRCLE to pursue our mission towards women empowerment as an organization. It brings us great joy and pride to celebrate the graduates of the L’Oréal Fund for Women x CIRCLE Digital Literacy Program in Karachi. This event is also an opportunity for us to celebrate the achievements of our women alumni and to reflect on the positive impact their skills will bring into their lives and to their families and communities.”

CIRCLE founder Sadaffe Abid said, “Access to internet and digital literacy is a basic human right. I am delighted to celebrate the achievements of our female graduates who have shown the determination to learn digital tools and set up micro businesses to create economic wellbeing for their families. When our women succeed, families prosper resulting in economic progress for Pakistan.”
The Digital Literacy Program was designed during the pandemic with the support of UN women, in 2021. Under the L’Oréal Fund for Women x CIRCLE Digital Literacy Program, launched in March 2022, 1,680 women in 30 cities across Pakistan have been trained to date with more to come, as it is an ongoing mission to reach the target of training 5,000 women all over Pakistan by the end of 2022.

The partnership between the CIRCLE and L’Oréal Fund for Women will be completing multiple Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the United Nations, SDG 5 (Gender Equality), SDG 8 (Inclusive Economic Growth), and SDG 17 (Partnerships).

Today, women worldwide are still disproportionately affected by the social and economic crisis generated by the Covid-19 pandemic. Through the L’Oréal Fund for Women, through its Fund for Women, has contributed EUR 160,000 // PKR 32 million to the CIRCLE Digital Literacy Program.

Particular attention is paid to projects aiming at helping women with multiple vulnerabilities, especially refugee women and women with disabilities. Beyond emergency aid, the L’Oréal Fund for Women focuses on supporting women and girls’ empowerment, particularly by supporting projects in favor of social and professional integration and overcoming obstacles to access to education.

The three-year fund is part of the brand’s ambition to contribute and address the great social and environmental challenges of the world through L’Oréal for the Future, leading up to their ambitious new sustainability program towards 2030.

L’Oréal Pakistan is actively involved in sustainable and social initiatives for Pakistani communities, with several initiatives under the umbrella of the global L’Oréal for the Future program impacting Women, Environment and respecting planetary boundaries. Brand led initiatives such as Garnier Green Beauty are focusing on reducing plastic impact, STAND UP by L’Oréal Paris aims to educate communities on street harassment and programs such as Beauty For a Better Life, L’Oréal Professional Institute that imparts salon education to stylists of diverse backgrounds and now, the Digital Literacy Program of CIRCLE supported by the L’Oréal Fund for Women aim to uplift the financial inclusion of women and communities in Pakistan.

The program provides many women from less privileged with an opportunity they would not have access to otherwise, and gives them an opportunity to change their lives for the better.

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