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Women across the globe are increasingly using technology to address their needs. They have been able to expand economic activity, break the gender barriers, and achieve financial independence at a much lower cost. And while gender disparity in Pakistan is significantly low (as evident from all global rankings) including much fewer women with formal STEM academic background, their participation in the tech space has clearly grown in last 5 years.

A key driver of growth for women entrepreneurs in tech in recent years has been the rising role of private sector and the international global organizations with their initiatives, programs, and funding to support women specifically in IT. Among major stakeholders, CIRCLE Women Association has been playing a significant role in empowering women with its various projects. She Loves Tech is the world’s largest women acceleration platform in the tech space. It is a global competition that emphasizes empowering women entrepreneurs and wasbrought to Pakistanby CIRCLE Women Association, becoming one of the best performing chapters among 70 countries.

Talking-to BR Research, the founder and CEO of CIRCLE - Sadaffe Abid said that the organization aims to empower one million low-income women across Pakistan through Digital Literacy, Entrepreneurship and Financial Inclusion. In her earlier conversation with BR Research she also highlighted that she brought She Loves Tech to Pakistan because there is a critical need to address the complex adaptive challenges faced by women of Pakistan where the country is among the last in WEF Global Gender Gap Index, and women hold less than 5 percent of STEM jobs with just one percent of women entrepreneurs.

What is needed is government support. Countries that have been able to address gender gap in academia and technology have had supportive policies. Government-focused programmes and schemes dedicated for women-led tech startups can help can bring more women led businesses in the technology related sector. This year, She Loves Tech Pakistan Chapter is entering its seventh successful round at a much bigger scale not only in terms of number of events, collaborations, workshops and boot camps, but also in terms of taking proactive steps to foster dialogue and collaboration between government officials and industry leaders to promote financial inclusion for women. Round table conferences will be organized to collectively develop policies that support women entrepreneurs and facilitate their active participation in the dynamic startup ecosystem.

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