Pakistan's untapped resources empowered by e-commerce boom

The craftswomen of northern Chitral are among the unlikely profiteers of an e-commerce boom since 3G and 4G Internet arrived in the deeply conservative Muslim country in 2014In the Hindu Kush mountains craftswomen painstakingly stitch flowing scarves, skilled artisans who were unable to sell their products beyond the remote region until mobile internet came to Pakistan and dropped the market into the palms of millions of previously marginalised people. The women of northern Chitral are among the unlikely profiteers of an e-commerce boom since 3G and 4G Internet arrived in the deeply conservative Muslim country in 2014, suddenly able to market and sell traditional products without leaving their villages or in some cases even their homes. “The online platform eliminates the middleman,” says Nasrin Samad, the entrepreneur behind the artisan brand Kai, which works with women across the region.

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