As the e-commerce industry rises in the country, experts believe that it is unlocking new avenues of economic opportunities for women as well.
Pakistan-Creates founder Mahe Zehra Husain talking to the Express Tribune said that E-commerce gives a huge opportunity to women in Pakistan, as it enhances their reach to a larger audience for showcasing their products from the convenience of their homes.
She was of the view that economic opportunities coming through e-commerce were especially true for cottage industries, where people produced goods on a small scale in their homes.
She said that E-commerce can help in marketing and promoting handmade/ indigenous crafts and help in increasing their sales. “There is so much unexplored talent in Pakistan.
Talking about Pakistani women, Husain said that they were amazing at multitasking. They were already making use of the digital age by launching their businesses on social media. She added that all they needed was a little bit of help on the technological side.
Women were almost half of Pakistan’s population, Husain pointed out and emphasised the need to empower and facilitate this huge community, most specifically women belonging to remote and rural areas.
She pointed out that however, they lacked a place (online) where they could create a web store and sell their products in an organised fashion.
She maintained that having a website was a much easier way to scale and track orders for businesses. She added that buyers could also easily track their shopping by landing on the seller’s website.
Regarding payment methods, she pointed out that payment gateway incorporation required cumbersome paperwork, which most of the sellers operating on a small scale avoided.
Mobilink Microfinance Bank CEO Ghazanfar Azzam said that E-commerce not only contributes to increasing global trade but is also bridging the digital divide in Pakistan.
He lamented that around 49% of Pakistan’s population comprised women, but their share in economic activities remained “extremely low.
He maintained that to equip women with the necessary skills to earn a living, building their capabilities at the grassroots level is critical.