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May 5, 2021

Digital services

Newspost

 
May 5, 2021

This refers to the article ‘Financial inclusion and women’s integration’ (April 24) by Dr Shamshad Akhtar. According to the statistics she highlighted, 67 percent of the women operating mobile money accounts are in Punjab, with the share growing by three percentage points during 2020. Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa make up 22 percent and 10 percent of the pie respectively. These provinces also saw a contraction in their respective shares during 2020. Balochistan, Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan combined constitute a meager three percent of these female account holders. Considering that there should have been an increase in these numbers during the time of Covid-19 and lockdowns, the current trend is indicating deeper problems. The authorities concerned must investigate the reasons behind these abysmal figures.

If the government wishes to bring real change in the status of gender parity, it needs to empower women economically by taking steps that ensure their financial inclusion. Digital financial services can be an ideal solution to meet these objectives. The government must address all the hurdles and ensure that more women have access to mobile money accounts.

Rabia Kamaal

Islamabad