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We’re partnering with the PTA to address the digital gender divide in Pakistan

The Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI) and the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) signed a Cooperation Agreement on March 2, 2022 at the GSMA Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain.

The cooperation agreement encourages mutually beneficial collaboration between the two parties in order to support universal access, ensure affordable and meaningful connectivity and address the challenges of rural connectivity, rural-urban digital divide and the gender digital divide.

The goal of the partnership is to establish a broad-based core alliance between the two parties. It reflects a shared value and focus for pursuing joint collaboration opportunities within each organization’s respective vision, mission and program focus the context of promoting access to affordable internet services in Pakistan, specifically the A4AI policy and regulatory good practices and the guiding principles to support rural, rural-urban broadband policy framework and bridge the digital gender divide.

Ms Sonia Jorge, A4AI Executive Director said “this partnership will ensure that the digital gender issues are integrated into policy processes and programmes and include more women, girls and marginalized communities in the digital economy.” She further added, “the agreement will seek to strengthen cooperation and engage stakeholders from Industry, civil society, NGOs and among other relevant experts working on issues related to Internet access, digital connectivity and Gender and ICTs in Pakistan.”

A4AI will work closely with the PTA to support the telecom regulatory and policy framework that will enable affordable, meaningful internet access for all users in Pakistan. In collaboration with national and regional partners/stakeholders working to close the digital gender divide, the two parties will support gender-responsive policy making in Pakistan.

Both parties will work together to bridge Pakistan’s digital divide by utilizing the A4AI’s Policy and Regulatory Good Practices and resources. A4AI will promote the Rural Broadband Policy Framework, Meaningful Connectivity and Affordability Index. PTA and A4AI will work to promote sensitization of gender equality workshops and work towards tackling the digital gender divide, as well as the need to accelerate efforts to support inclusion of women in the digital economy and ICTs.

A4AI will work closely with PTA to engage key stakeholders in Pakistan and promote joint activities to expand access to affordable Internet services in Pakistan, particularly for marginalized groups in rural and remote communities, women and girls and persons with disabilities, as a part of this partnership.

Ms Eleanor Sarpong, Deputy Director of A4AI and Ms Anju Mangal, Head of Asia Pacific, A4AI will be working closely with the Major General (R) Amir Azeem Bajwa, Chairman of PTA and Waqas Hassan, Assistant Director (International Liaison & Training), PTA.

For more information on this partnership, please contact Ms Anju Mangal, Head of Asia Pacific, A4AI – anju.mangal@webfoundation.org.