Islamabad (PR) - Universal Service Fund and Facebook on Thursday launched a programme titled #SheMeansBusiness for women in Pakistan.

The programme, which involves a series of workshops, training sessions and online resources, is designed to equip women entrepreneurs with the knowledge, connections, skills and technology required to build and grow their businesses online.  Speaking at the program’s launch, Federal Minister for Information Technology, Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui said that the current government is very keen on creating equal opportunities for females in the country to enable them to excel in their lives.

Dr Khalid Maqbool added that it is important to provide such platforms to females to bridge the gender digital divide in the country.

He praised the training program aimed at women empowerment and digital safety and also emphasized that such initiatives will play an important role in equipping the women entrepreneurs with the knowledge and technology required to build and grow their businesses online. He appreciated the efforts of Facebook and Universal Service Fund for coming up with such an effective training programme and hoped that this partnership would undertake such fruitful activities in future too.

Speaking at the occasion, CFO-Universal Service Fund, Haaris M Chaudhary said that the addition of #SheMeansBusiness in the ICT for Girls programme is a step in the right direction towards making our women economically powerful through training them to make the right ICT decisions at the right time. He added that, “We are hopeful that after this training by Facebook on entrepreneurial skills for women, the women in this programme will make even smarter decisions.”

Clair Deevy, APAC Director of Community Affairs, Facebook, said, “When women do better, we all benefit. More women are employed, more role models are created, and there is stronger diversity. Facebook’s partnershipwith Universal Service Fund in Pakistan will hopefully help inspire and empower more Pakistani women to start and grow a business.”

As part of the #SheMeansBusiness programme, training will be provided to trainers of Universal Service Fund ICT for girls programme in the areas of Women Empowerment and digital safety. This training will teach 8,000 women annually on how to setup and grow their businesses using practical digital skills on Facebook and Instagram platform and tips for protecting their privacy, security and staying safe online. At the end of the ceremony, certificates were also distributed among the participants of the training programme.