Microfinance Beneficiaries breaking Stereotypes

Lahore (Muhammad Yasir) Focus on women is one of the overarching themes of all Pakistan Microfinance Investment Company (PMIC)’s interventions. As the apex institution and sector developer, PMIC advocates for gender equality with the central objective of improving the socioeconomic status of the women.

In line with this year’s theme – Each for Equal, PMIC held Women’s Day event to celebrate and recognize the entrepreneurial spirit and accomplishments of women in the country.  Women beneficiaries from PMIC funded Microfinance Institutions – were invited to share their perspective with the PMIC Board and team.  The beneficiaries were resilient examples who have used their microfinance loans to challenge stereotypes and have adopted non-conventional roles such as joining a ride hailing service as a driver, operating a pick and drop transport service and setting up a vocational training center. These diverse and accomplished women shared their life journey, role of microfinance in helping them overcome challenges, lessons learnt and their future plans. Through their commitment and resolve, they have inspired many more women to become drivers, trainers, beauticians and businesswoman among others. Moreover, these women have been able to educate their children, an encouraging example was that one of the beneficiary’s daughter has recently completed her studies to become a dentist.

During the event Chairman PMIC Naved A. Khan, Borad member PMIC and CEO Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF) Qazi Azmat Isa and CEO PMIC Yasir Ashfaqreiterated PMIC’s commitment to enhance access to finance for women and improve their socioeconomic standing in the society. They praised the commitment of these women to embrace non-conventional roles andemphasized on the resolve to pursue initiatives that lead to financial empowerment of women.

Through its network of more than 22 Microfinance Providers in more than 65 districts of Pakistan, 86% of the borrowers are women. PMIC also focusses development of women centric financial products and initiatives leading to financial inclusion, financial literacy, empowerment and sustainable livelihoods for women contributing towards achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2030 and the National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS).