KARACHI: The Pakistan Single Window (PSW) has launched “Khadijah – The Women Entrepreneurship Programme” in Karachi. The programme aims to increase female participation in international trade through the PSW platform. 

This programme builds on the ongoing efforts by the Government of Pakistan to achieve gender equality and women’s economic empowerment through greater participation of women in cross-border trade by providing effective and sustained mechanisms of trading to women entrepreneurs and traders.

This programme has been developed as a component of the Gender Action Plan developed by the PSW company with the objective to enhance the capacity of women in business and cross-border trade, to support women’s entrepreneurship development and to motivate women joining international trade-related workforce and professions.

Speaking on the occasion, CEO PSW Aftab Haider said, “Technology is lowering costs of doing business, helping SMEs and women-led businesses join the global value chains, improving standards of living for all and resulting in the economic empowerment of women and marginalized communities everywhere. We would like to leverage the PSW platform to encourage more women and women-led businesses to integrate with the international supply chain and play their part in the national development.”

The programme has targeted training and a comprehensive awareness strategy. The aim is to transfer knowledge and information to women entrepreneurs and equip them with the requisite know-how, skills, and expertise, which enables them to upscale their existing businesses for an export market and sustain and grow them over time.

At the launch of “Khadijah”, National Project Manager Reforms & Innovation in Government UNDP Pakistan, Dr Samina Taslim Zehra congratulated PSW for taking this initiative to empower women and said, “The PSW Khadijah Programme is designed professionally in a way that covers the whole business cycle including financial inclusion, technical capacity building, and social media marketing initiatives for uplifting women-led businesses.”

As a leading public sector entity, Pakistan Single Window (PSW) is committed to serving the community and society through inclusive and equitable policies and operations that support the economic growth agenda of the Government of Pakistan and are fully aligned with the United Nations ‘Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), 2030. Amongst other goals, the PSW system seeks to narrow the opportunity and gender gap through a fully integrated digital system that provides women entrepreneurs with an easily accessible environment where they can transact with minimal cost and without the cost for intermediaries, and that eliminates potential gender discrimination from the cross-border trading industry of Pakistan. The PSW is the first public sector company to have conducted a gender audit of the PSW company and one of the first public sector organizations to have signed the “Women Empowerment Principles” advocated by the UN Women. Recently the PSW launched the dedicated PSW Women Helpline to provide guidance and support to women traders already engaged in cross-border trade.

The Pakistan Single Window (PSW) is an integrated digital platform that allows parties involved in trade and transport to lodge standardized information and documents with a single-entry point to fulfill all import, export, and transit-related regulatory requirements. It aims at reducing the time and cost of doing business by digitalizing Pakistan’s cross-border trade and eliminating paper-based manual processes. The PSW digital platform will transform the trading landscape of Pakistan. It automates and integrates cross-border trade-related procedures of Customs and other government agencies (OGAs), making trade faster, easier, and cheaper.