Karandaaz and FINCA Microfinance Bank signed an agreement to undertake joint efforts to advance women’s financial inclusion in Pakistan.

The MOU signing ceremony took place at FINCA Pakistan’s Head Office in Lahore and was chaired by CEO FINCA Microfinance Bank, Mr. Jahanzeb Khan, CEO Karandaaz, Mr. Waqas ul Hasan. The ceremony was also attended by senior management members from both organizations.

Under this agreement, Karandaaz has committed a grant to FINCA Microfinance Bank Pakistan for initiating and running an exploration program that will help FINCA design gender-sensitive products and communication strategy with the aim of reducing the gender gap.

Mr Waqas ul Hasan, CEO Karandaaz, expressed his views on the collaboration, stating that, “Financial inclusion of small savers and underserved segments is at the core of Karandaaz’s overall push for greater financial inclusion in the country. As per the latest Global Findex 2021, top line financial inclusion in Pakistan is estimated at 21%. If we look at the gender disaggregated data, it is concerning the while an estimated 28% of Pakistan’s adult male population is financially included; the ratio for adult women is at 13%. We hope that, with Karandaaz support, through customized products and a vigorous outreach campaign, FINCA will be able to play an effective role in bridging this gap between financial inclusion of Pakistani men and women and further accelerate the financial inclusion trend for Pakistan.”

On this occasion, Mr. Jahanzeb Khan, CEO of FINCA Microfinance Ltd., said “Women’s empowerment is at the core of FINCA’s mission to alleviate poverty. Since its inception, FINCA through a network of 130+ branches across 120+ cities in Pakistan, has endeavoured to empower women in the workforce as well as the client base. Quite recently, we won the prestigious Global Diversity and Inclusion Benchmarks Awards 2021 and take pride in having the highest women workforce in the industry.” He further added, “In Pakistan where women are disproportionately under-served, creative measures are needed, like FINCA’s industry-first all-female branch in Islamabad. We have witnessed thousands of success stories of women entrepreneurs who, with the right financial services, transformed their lives for the better. And in all these examples, women have proven that they are responsible borrowers, diligent professionals, and loyal customers. By elevating opportunities for women, designing products specifically for them, and partnering with organizations like Karandaaz that are focused on women’s equality, FINCA can continue to build on FIF’s legacy of women-centred finance in 18 subsidiaries to support long-term financial health of women — setting them up for a more comfortable living.”