Women, Digital Use, and the Labor Market

12th January | LUMS

Dr Hadia Majid's presented at the 11th Asian Management Research and Case Conference at the Suleman Dawood School of Business. The presentation gave highlights from research on the impact of access to digital devices for women in the labor force in Pakistan, focusing on insights on the benefits and limitations of mobile devices for self-employed microentrepreneur women and women employed in the secondary sector.

Converner: Dr Hadia Majid (Chair of Economics Department, LUMS) 

Presenters: Dr Maryam Mustafa (Assistant Professor of Computer Science, LUMS)

Gender, Technology, and Women's Empowerment 

19th December | LUMS

GenTech directors Dr Hadia Majid and Dr Maryam Mustafa will be presenting three research papers that explore the intersection of gender, technology, and empowerment in the Pakistani context. The papers investigate the challenges faced by women, particularly low-income women, and propose strategies and interventions to enhance their safety, economic opportunities, and overall empowerment. 

Moderator: Dr Hadia Majid (Chair of Economics Department, LUMS) 

Panelists: Ms. Annum Sadiq (Co-Founder of Edkasa), Ms. Shumaila Rifaqat (Head of ICF & Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning at Karandaaz) & Dr Maryam Mustafa (Assistant Professor of Computer Science, LUMS)

Is Tech the Answer? Tech for Inequality Reductions

28th October | 12 pm | Pak China Friendship Centre, Islamabad 

GenTech directors Dr Hadia Majid and Dr Maryam Mustafa took part in a panel discussion titled 'Is Tech the Answer? Tech for Inequality Reductions' as part of EconFest Islamabad 2023, organized by Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE)

The talk featured academics and practitioners working within the intersection of gender and technology, each having done work in the education, health and/or labour market sector. The discussion focused on the challeges faced by girls and women face when tryting to access education, health and labour markets in Pakistan and how they can leverage the use of digital technology to curb these challenges. Our panelists also presented the potential opportunites and policy implications for how these gaps can be filled as well as how access to digital technology can be improved. 

Social Policy for Women in Pakistan

11th July | Available on PIDE

A book talk on "Social policy for women in Pakistan" to discuss the policy challenges Pakistani women face across different areas of private and public life. 

This book talk was organized by PIDE and Dr. Hadia Majid from GenTech, as a discussant, shares her perspective based on the research conducted with women all across Pakistan.

Future of Work for Women in Pakistan

21st March | Available on Tabadlab

Dr Hadia Majid's panel talk at Tabadlab to understand the need for an inclusive future of work and explore the strategies that enable women to be a part of the workforce in an emerging digital world. 

Designing Technologies for Social and Economic Empowerment

21st March | 5 pm | VC Faculty Lounge, LUMS

Dr. Hadia Majid and Dr. Maryam Mustafa presented GenTech's work in a talk organized by Saida Waheed Gender Initiative at LUMS. The speakers presented insights from their ongoing and completed projects which investigate the intersection of women's access to and use of digital technologies and their economic empowerment. Over a span of three years, they have interviewed about 200 low-literate, low-income women workers engaged in a variety of occupations across Pakistan. They presented evidence on the existing state of women’s participation and access to digital spaces, focusing on the gendered design of technologies. In particular, they highlighted how this access varies depending on the nature and place of work women engage in. 

Moderator: Dr. Hadia Majid (Chair of Economics Department, LUMS)

Panelists: Mr. Mudassar Aqil (CEO, Telenor Microfinance Bank/Easypaisa), Ms. Zainab Saeed (Chief Strategy Officer, Kashf Foundation), Mr. Badar Khushnood (Co-Founder, Dr. Maryam Mustafa (Assistant Professor, Computer Science, LUMS)

Tech for Change

12th March | 1:30 pm | Alhamra Arts Council, Lahore

GenTech presented a panel discussion titled "Tech for Change" as part of the EconFest Lahore 2023, organized by the Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE). This talk featured leaders from financial institutions and researchers to explore the existing realities of access to digital technology, financial inclusion, and mobile wallets for women in Pakistan. This discussion included Kashf's contribution to financial inclusion, Telenor Microfinance Bank's initiatives to inculcate a gendered lens to their services and overarching themes relevant to barriers in accessing and using technology for social and economic empowerment. Our panelists also raised the need for contextual technology design and improvements in the regulations and procedures related to financial sector to improve financial inclusion of women in the context of Pakistan.

Talk on Designing Technologies for Social and Economic Empowerment 

15th March | VC Faculty Lounge, LUMS

GenTech participated in the HSS Annual International Conference organized by MGSHSS, LUMS. Directors of the research cluster, talked about their work on technology design for social and economic empowerment. The discussion focused mainly on the past projects and the ongoing research related to mobile wallets. 

International Conference on Gender Studies in Africa

Co-director GenTech, Dr. Hadia Majid shared cluster's research on "Designing for Support Against Workplace Harassment for Low-Income Women in Pakistan" in the "International Conference on Gender Studies in Africa." The research insights related to experiences of harassment and marginalization, access to safe spaces, and current access to technologies with a specific focus on mobile phone was discussed as part of the larger discussion on gender violence in the academy and beyond.

The Future of Women's Work

Co-director, GenTech, Dr. Maryam Mustafa presented cluster's published research on “Transformative digital spaces? Investigating women’s digital mobilities in Pakistan” in the webinar series arranged by ILO & GIZ . This paper explores the intersection between mobility and access to digital technologies, among domestic, factory, and home-based workers. The cluster's findings about the drivers of digital gender gap were shared and the panel also discussed ways in which low-income women navigate the barriers they face because of the digital divide. 

Emerging Gender Issues and Vulnerabities in Urban Contexts of Pakistan

OXFAM's Knowledge Sharing Event at Lahore, Peshawar, Karachi and Quetta

OXFAM conducted a knowledge-sharing event where GenTech's team member, Ms. Maria Nazar, presented research insights of two major projects in three in-person and online OXFAM Knowledge Sharing events. The events discussed GenTech's key takeaways from the projects "Domestic and Home Based workers Vulnerability in COVID-19" and "Exploring Changing Forms of Gender Issues in Urban Context of Pakistan." 

Workshop on "Emerging Issues of Women in Urban Context of Pakistan"

“Emerging Gender Issues in Urban Context of Pakistan” was a key informants’ focus group discussion on digital literacy, financial inclusion, and technological access to Urban women in Pakistan. It was held on August 12, 2022, at LUMS. The workshop was attended by organizations including Karandaaz, HomeNet, Circle, Dbank, OXFAM, and Khudkaar. The diverse interventions of these organizations were discussed with a focus on challenges faced by the beneficiaries and the steps taken to improve earning opportunities for women micro-entrepreneurs and small businesses especially through technology. Participants also explored women’s preference to work from home, technology use, and the role of socio-cultural norms in affecting women's work particularly outside the home. The main policy level insights suggested facilitating women to get internet access on cheaper rates, encourage SIM ownership and usage of digital wallets, and easy access to loans especially for low-income women. 

Workshop with Women's Rights Organizations

A workshop titled “Domestic and Home-Based Women Worker Vulnerabilities during Covid-19 and the Role of Digital Technology” was held on February 18, 2022, at LUMS. This event was conducted and hosted by the Gender and Tech Cluster. The purpose of this workshop was to understand how low-income and low-literate women navigate the patriarchal landscape at home and the workplace. With a major focus on Domestic and Home Based Workers, this discussion focused on themes including harassment and marginalization, women's access to safe spaces, and access to technology with a focus on mobile usage. The main insights of the workshop revolved around advocacy for worker rights to fight against harassment and abuse, formation of collective bargaining groups and women chambers to facilitate home based businesses and avoid worker exploitation. The workshop participants included representatives from organizations including Akhuwat, Kashf Foundation, Circle, Mumkin Alliance, HomeNet, FACES, WISE, and Women’s Action Forum.