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Karandaaz Pakistan (“Company”), is a not for profit company set up by UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) for the implementation of the Enterprise and Asset Growth (EaGR) Program. The company was incorporated in August 2014 and promotes access to finance for small businesses through a commercially directed investment platform, and financial inclusion for individuals by employing technology enabled digital solutions. The company has financial and institutional support from leading international development finance institutions; principally the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP), a member of the World Bank Group also provides technical support to Karandaaz Pakistan.


Position background

The development and deployment of human capital is a critical element of economic growth and social inclusion worldwide. In 2016 Global Gender Gap report, published by the World Economic Forum, Pakistan has ranked 143 out of a total of 144 countries that were evaluated. With this ranking, Pakistan is South Asia’s lowest-ranked country and has stood second-to-last in the overall global ranking.[1]  Where closing the gender gap is vital to overall growth of the economy, women’s financial inclusion is instrumental to achieving these economic benefits as it allows them to save, invest, borrow and insure their lives and their businesses. This enables women to better participate in the formal economy and improves performance of women-owned businesses. The McKinsey Global Institute found female financial inclusion to be one of ten “impact zones” currently holding back the developing world from achieving gender parity at work[2]. Another research by the Goldman Sachs Global Markets Institute has found that closing the gender gap in credit access could improve developing-world growth rates by 1.1 percent[3].

Despite the recent gains in uptake of mobile wallets and formal banking mechanisms, a significant gender gap exists in terms of the quality of access to a bank or mobile money account, and ownership of that account. The World Bank found that women in developing countries are 20 percent less likely to own a formal account than men, and account for 55 percent of people without access to a formal account. Furthermore, many women have access to a formal account only via joint accounts with family members, which may mean they have limited or no control of the account assets. Women face significant disadvantages in terms of access to key products beyond savings accounts, such as credit. For example, women own 40 percent of the world’s 340 million informal small medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and one-third of the world’s 40 million formal SMEs. Goldman Sachs estimates 70 percent of women-owned formal SMEs are unserved or underserved in terms of access to credit, amounting to a $285 billion credit gap. Closing this credit gap in developing countries could increase per-capita GDP by 12 percent by 2030[4].

To create an enabling environment and encourage the use of mobile financial services for the poor rural or urban women of Pakistan, targeted effort needs to be made by government, regulators, private and development sectors to yield desired results. Karandaaz Pakistan, with its mandate of financial inclusion, aims to bridge the gap between the customer’s need, the market’s offering and the business case around this scenario that would work towards closing the gender gap.

Karandaaz Pakistan is seeking a Gender Advisor to work with its technical teams to make sure that the gender element is always kept high on the agenda while designing and rolling out interventions. Gender Advisor will be expected to bring in experience, knowledge and expertise of the latest trends in women’s empowerment across the globe and customize them to fit the Pakistan requirement, keeping in mind the Karandaaz Pakistan’s role and the expectations of its Board of Directors and Donors. Gender Advisor would be expected to advocate for greater attention to gender perspectives, providing the necessary rationales and advice on approaches to support gender mainstreaming throughout the workstreams. This would require for the Gender Advisor to understand the work of the department, what the relevant gender perspectives are, and how these perspectives can be incorporated into on-going work.

Some specific tasks of the Gender Advisor would include the following,

Job Responsibilities:

  • Analysis of existing workplans, logframe targets and Donor requirements to identify reforms that will encourage women’s participation in the economy. 
  • Liaise with Pakistani government and regulatory entities to facilitate improved policy implementation and service delivery that will increase women’s employment and entrepreneurship.
  • Serve as program resource for gender based questions and engage with stakeholders on 
    gender issues being addressed by the program.
  • Provide technical assistance to Karandaaz private sector and government partners in assessing the strength of their approach to gender mainstreaming across the program cycle
  • Provide advice on appropriate gender sensitive indicators in the performance measurement framework and support colleagues in the monitoring and reporting of program results/outputs and objectives against agreed indicators.
  • Lead the development of a gender policy which provides a framework - the mandate, rationales and goals - for the work that Karandaaz may undertake for gender mainstreaming
    • Review and ensure that Karandaaz technical interventions, reports, approved work plans, and communications meet DFID and BMGF standards for supporting gender equality and female empowerment.
    • Promotes broad dissemination of information including best practices and emerging trends as well as data analyses on gender issues in Pakistan and how Digital and SME financing can reduce the gender gaps
    • Serves as a point of contact on gender empowerment issues including monitoring and evaluation of gender-related impacts and conducts outreach with external organizations.
    • Any other task as may be required by the supervisor

Candidate Profile

  • Minimum eight years of progressive professional experience in gender analysis, programming and/or projects preferably in financial services.
  • Minimum of a Master’s degree in gender studies, development, or a related discipline.
  • Demonstrated experience working on projects promoting women’s empowerment.
  • Ability to influence and inspire other Team leads in the company.
  • Excellent analytical, writing and communication skills.
  • Should be proficient in understanding stakeholder needs and expectations, analyzing the impact of the projects, gaining and maintaining stakeholder support, managing stakeholder communications regarding gender matters, and mitigating / channeling stakeholder resistance.
  • Experience creating and implementing gender assessment tools to monitor and evaluate projects and programs
  • Experience of working with government, policy makers, regulatory organizations would be a plus
  • Experience working with village savings and loan associations or other women’s financial services in Pakistan would be an advantage
Note: Karandaaz is an equal opportunity employer. Only shortlisted candidates will be called for an interview.