FINCA Pakistan recently partnered with Uber and the International Finance Committee (IFC) to host an information session for women. The session focused on how women can earn an income through the “Uber Hero” program. This is just one of the many examples of how FINCA Pakistan is working to promote women’s empowerment and financial inclusion.
A History of Inequality and Gender Discrimination in Pakistan
Pakistan has a long history of discrimination and violence against women. While it is the world’s 5th most populous country, it is ranked next to last in the 2018 Global Gender Gap Index. But acknowledging these issues, in recent years, the country has made a commitment to achieving greater gender equality and women’s rights.
As a major step to address its history of inequality, Pakistan has recently adopted a number of key international commitments. Some of these commitments include the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Sustainable Development Goals, among others. However, with stories of discrimination and human rights abuses against women still prevalent, there is still much work to be done to achieve greater levels of equality.
Uber Hero as an Avenue for Progress
Another step on the long road to achieving gender equality is promoting and enabling an environment where women have access to decent work and economic security. This is exactly what the Uber Hero program is doing for women in Pakistan.
As part of the Uber Hero program, women can sign up as either drivers or managers (who onboard and manage other drivers). In either position, women earn their own income, therefore empowering them through employment.
As one of FINCA’s core commitments, women’s empowerment is something FINCA Pakistan works toward every day. They do this by providing women with access to the financial products and services they need to become financially empowered. And after hearing about the Uber Hero program, FINCA Pakistan wanted to get involved.
Taking Advantage of the FINCA Network
Seeing this program as an opportunity for women to gain employment and help them on their way to financial empowerment, FINCA Pakistan knew they could help by disseminating information about the program to its vast network of female clients and their friends and acquaintances.
This idea culminated with FINCA Pakistan cohosting an event at their headquarters in conjunction with Uber Hero and IFC. At the event, the 33 women who attended received a detailed presentation on the various ways they can participate in the Uber Hero program, either as drivers or managers. The presentation also focused on how women, specifically, can integrate the program with their own needs.
Overall, feedback from the women who attended the event was extremely positive. They were happy to learn about this program and the various avenues available to them to earn money. After attending the event, 3 women expressed an immediate interest in becoming drivers and 9 were interested in becoming managers.
A Positive Outlook
While this program will not achieve equality on its own, its acceptance indicates a cultural shift in the right direction. By adopting more programs like Uber Hero that enable women to earn an income, Pakistan is encouraging an environment where it is socially and culturally acceptable for women to hold employment and seek financial empowerment.
Much like its cooperation with Uber and IFC, FINCA Pakistan is continuously looking for new ways to help advance the goal of women’s empowerment. They are working to contribute to an environment of equality and create a brighter future for women in Pakistan.