Si do is a mobile application, that can enable women in the global south to become independent, by using their talent in sewing to become an entrepreneur. Si do helps women by developing their digital skills, discovering new patterns, learning how to sell their clothing designs, and becoming a source of inspiration for others around the globe.
We believe that lifelong learning can help promote gender equality, ensure equal access to employment, and ensure that everyone is included in the information society.
“Si do” means “Sew it” in Urdu.
SiDo is an online solution that gives the possibility to learn how to sew for women in the global East.
Through Si Do app Pakistani women can develop their digital skills, discover new patterns, learn how to sell clothing designs, and be a source of inspiration and be inspired by other women, who share their interest, around the globe.
With Si Do, users can communicate, collaborate, and help build a community of women from distant cultures and from right next door. These relationships help women support one another, solve common problems, and work together, to create new small businesses, in homes and around the world.
“Si do”, is also a “school”, for everybody, with teachers from around the world, who can work together, to exchange fabrics or accessories, and to sell clothes and services, on both local and global markets.
Social media is not a safe place for many women in Pakistan. These sources shows how social media is not a good place for them but also how social media is giving them a voice.
How social media is failing pakistani women ( 05/07/19)
by Bina Shah 18.10.2015
How social media is empowering Pakistani women(05/07/19)
by Fizza Atique 30/11/2018
Sewing has always been part of the Pakistani tradition. Projects have previously been carried out to motivate women to sew by, among other things, giving them sewing machines and and etablishing sewing centers.
DONATION Empower 100 Pakistani women through sewing skill(05/07/19)
organization: Society for human development
project leader: Bonnie Mendes(Lahore, Pakistan)
DONATION Sewing Machines for 100 girls in Pakistan(05/07/19)
organization: microproject by Association for Humanitarian Development(AHD)
Project leader: Khurshid Bhatti( Hyderabad, Sindh Pakistan)
Pakistan Sewing Program in the Slums is open and running(05/07/19)
by Angela@Colormyworldkids.org 31/05/2015
This article is about how a one roomed sewing centre in a village of Talli near Nawabshah has helped train more than 200 women in basic tailoring, wmbroidery and stitching
This article shows how sewing is positive for women's future in Pakistan
There are more men than women who have access to mobile phones in Pakistan. For us, it is important that our target group, which is women, has access to mobile phones. These articles are about women and access to phones
The article shows survey of telecom users of Pakistan
In April 2019 we were part of WSIS forum. Our team took part in Hackathon. The main idea of Hackathon: #Hacking Solutions for lifelong learnings and Livelihoods. Develop your ideas into tech solutions to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education!
Presentation from Hackathon: https://prezi.com/wyhim_yblici/oslomet/
When we were brainstorming ideas, we decided to focus on problems we’ve been through or problems we know people are going through. We’re a team of members from different countries, different cultures, backgrounds, that's when we decided to focus on problems in our countries. We found out that in countries such as Pakistan, women are into sewing, but they don’t do much with this talent. We talked to a woman from Pakistan, named Zarina.
Zarina is a 39 old woman. She is from Pakistan. She has basic education, no profession, no job, 4 children, and almost no digital skills. However, what she has is an amazing talent for sewing. But Zarina faces many stereotypes and prejudices which force her to stay at home alone and care for her family.
Our solution can help Zarina to become an independent woman, who can learn about new clothing designs from around the world and use her talent in sewing to become an entrepreneur.
How will the idea/ the solution be profitable for the communities
For each of these features learning platform, social platform, and marketplace there are alternatives, why not use them(etsy, ebay, khan academy etc).
Is sewing enough for the platform?
What is unique about this idea?? How will it attract people?(NGO?)
How will you make it sustainable? business plan? budgeting?
How will the platform be known? How will it get known to the communities? if women are isolated and mostly stay at home and do not use facebook or can’t go to these community centers(ish) because lack of transportation(etc).
Men do not allow the women to use facebook etc, how will they allow them to use your app?
Why are you guys in geneva? contact people in geneva with same interest?
Which and how many communities care? Where are the people who can help you build the community?
In these communities, how will they have access to sewing machines?
Si Do means sew it in urdu. Si Do is a mobile application with a simple interface that is easy to use for people with a low level of literacy and digital skills. It is very intuitive and easy to understand.
With Si Do everyone has a personal profile that can be ranked, based on feedback from their clients and peers. Each profile will have a portfolio with points for the courses that the person completed. This data will help connect women in collaboration and motivate them in their future work as dressmakers and seamstresses.
Si Do has three main features
Learning materials divided into three levels, for beginners, intermediate and advanced;
A social platform for communication. Where users can ask questions and discuss different topics;
And finally a marketplace, for trading and exchanging clothing designs, patterns and selling finished products.
NGOs In Pakistan
The largest voluntary welfare organization in Pakistan. Provides 24-hour assistance across the country. Offers various services such as shelter for the poor, free hospitals, medical care etc. It also has the largest ambulance network worldwide.
Chhipa Welfare Association
Foundation for the poor in Pakistan. Works to give women a place to live, old homes, orphanages etc.
Shahid Afridi Foundation
Global organization supporting the most subordinate communities in Pakistan. Helps families fulfil their basic needs and want to provide better health, education and water services.
Founded to create awareness and commitment to a caring and democratic society in Pakistan. Gender equality is important for this foundation
Ansar Burney Trust
Netwrork of human Rights organizations working for rights, better treatment of people and rights and freedoms of residents of Pakistan.
Saylani Welfare International Trust
Gives different platforms to the poor. Provides, among other things, free food for the poor.
Family Education Services Foundation
Educational organization active in Pakistan. Dedicated to improving the quality of life of all members of the society. FESF invests in educational development and provides innovative training programs, development tools and services to enable residents to gain expertise and self-sufficiency
Socity for human development
The Citizens Foundation
Non-profit organization who want to bring positive change through education. Is one of Pakistan’s leading organizations in the field of education.
Bilqees Sarwar Foundation
Welfare organization. Aims to provide public health, education and humanitarian support to local community.
NGOs in Geneva
Aga Khan Foundation
Bring together different resources as humans, financial and technical resources to address some of the challenges faced by the poorest in different communities in the world. Works in different areas such as Education, early childhood and civil society.
New international non-profit organization. Active on climate, environmental and sustainable development issues.
Works around the world to help human and defeat poverty and achive social justice. The focus is on women and girls.
Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development works to promote and protect human rights.
We believe that Si Do can help both government and non-government organizations that aim to promote, lifelong learning, gender equality, and social inclusion.
NGOs in Pakistan:
We've talked to Amudha, and this is the feedback we got from her:
If there will be commons space for women use a sewing machine, they can also get together and do this collectively or do any such embroidery in their own homes and Si Do can also guide them in getting the market
I wanted to have a chat with you, most importantly
your project is amazing with fantastic scope
as Francois mentioned yesterday(03/07/19) mention the background of the NGO support and the possibility availing the sewing machines, that makes a huge difference.
This is what Pakistan is rich for! Apart from learning sewing, empower the communities of Si Do to revive these rich embroidery work. Often to transfer these onto fabric material takes collective effort- the community space you are thinking of where there will be one sewing machine can also act as a community space- to bring women together and do some creative empowerment
Women mental health is least spoken about. collective stitching- as famously known as ‘Bitch & Stitch’ helps them handle with their depression better( If you want to bring in the Women Mental Health- and make that an SDG angle).
Feedback from Bendik løvås:
Structure expectations for the 3 next weeks just to give a mental picture of activities you think will be valuable for you(maybe in two days block)
business model canvas
user journey(from school to home),
user journey(user interface wise)
interactive prototype(video conference workshop with bendik løvås)
In regards to the business model
potentially use a non-profit version
Network effects are really important to experiment with. The ability for users to share their creations and get predefined reactions, or to belong to a community of some sort.
Then its easier for users to recruit new users in their local communities. (This really makes sense when you start looking at multiple types of crafts, think local community pinterest for own creations)
feedback after pitch session 1:
are we trying to solve too many things?
teaching how to sew, providing them knowledge?(can it be primary solution) the most value??
creating a marketplace, buyer and a seller? why would someone download and buy?
would you buy, sell to distributional platform via ngo etc? instead of selling directly?
do the women have to rely on the children to access to the application???
advice- contact all possible ngo’s to see if they can fund, send you to the right person etc
introduce briefly about the project with pp
Issues on feedback: Francois
couldn’t you use other platforms
other parts that can connect to other, benefit from existing platforms???
what do people in pakistan use to buy things etc?
what do they use as apps in pakistan, what is the ranking of social apps, what are the social ones
local apps, general apps? what do they use and why do they use it!!!!!!!!!
-KNOW MORE ABOUT THEIR REALITY- this is an idea, use what they already use!!!!
more facts, what are the top ranking apps for e-commerce, social etc.
investor looks for: do they know their market, more research intergrated in their presentation.
Who will run the app?
Where are the team members from?
How did you learn about the status quo of Pakistani women’s sewing
How will you control the quality of the hand-made clothes, compared to the industrial products?
Pitch: start with solution then problem
NGOs we've contacted:
Association for Humanitarian Development (AHD) - https://www.ahdpak.org/about.php
International Trade Centre - ITC - http://www.intracen.org
Family Educational Services Foundation (FESF) -https://www.fesf.org.pk/contact/
After completing the pitch and receiving feedback, we have decided to change our product slightly. We have found out that:
1. We don't need complex marketplace
2. We need to make things as simple such possible
3. We can't go from levels (beginners, intermediate, advanced) to products, but vice-versa.
4. There are platforms that already exist that we can use. (This is a point we need to discuss a lot as it can change the whole idea)
Here is a short summary of our first solution:
In some cultures, women are forced to stay at home and take care of their children because of societies prejudices and stereotypes. Working is not an option for these women. There are many women who like to sew clothes and have this as a hobby. We want to create an application where these women can learn how to sew, communicate with each other and sell and buy from each other
Si do means sew it in Urdu. The application aims to promote lifelong learning, ensure gender equality, provide equal access to employment, and include everyone in the information society.
Si do is a mobile application, that can enable women in the global south to become independent , by using their talent in sewing to become an entrepreneur.
Si do helps women by developing their digital skills, discovering new patterns, learning how to sell their clothing designs, and becoming a source of inspiration for others around the globe.
Si Do has three main features. First it includes learning materials divided into three levels, for beginners, intermediate and advanced. Second it is a social platform for communication. Where users can ask questions and discuss different topics. And finally it is a marketplace, for trading and exchanging clothing designs, patterns and selling finished products.
1. How will the idea/the solution be profitable for the communities?
Our application has many benefits to the Pakistani society
Women constitute 48.76% of Pakistan’s population. According to World Bank, in 2018, women made up 23.9& of the labour force in Pakistan (GlobalEconomy.com). The Labour Force Participation Rate (LFPR) for men in 2018 was 81.46%. This is three times higher than women.
These statistics show that there is no equality. If we make the Si Do application, it will be possible for women to be employed and make money.
The Unites Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Pakistan launched its National Human Development Report (NHDR). The report shows that 76.9% of the youth in Pakistan, drop out from school and leave education for various reasons. One of the main reasons are financial reasons. When the family has poor finances, it becomes difficult to send the children to school. The children often start working at a young age, so they can make money for the family. “More than 12.5 million children in Pakistan are involved in child labour”, according to the Child Right Movement. It is therefore important to hire the adults so that they can make money instead of the children.
2. For each of these features learning platform, social platform and marketplace there are alternatives, why not use them (etsey, ebay, khan academy, facebook etc)?
Apps that already exist aren’t fit for purpose. For example:
So why create a new platform? It’s the mashup of the three functions of the SiDo app that makes it valuable and that also gives you the opportunity to make it responsive to the user’s needs. If we start using applications that already exist, it will be complicated for us as we want to add all three features.
3. Is sewing enough for the platform?
The value that Si Do creates is built on the mashup of e-commerce, social networking and online learning. We are going to focus on sewing because we already know the market and the Value creation model is built around sewing.
4. What is unique about this idea? How will it attract people?
There are many sewing centres where women gather to learn how to sew. However not all women have the opportunity to go to these centres. There are several stories presented by NGOs about Pakistani women that shows how they have to stay at home and take care of their families.
Our idea is unique because it will allow women to sit at hime and learn how to sew. It gives them the opportunity to teach others and communicate with other women. They don’t necessarily have to go out to do this. It will also allow them to share their work with others, as well as buy and sell clothing, patterns, etc.
5. How will you make it sustainable? Business plan? Budgeting?
We are focusing on reaching an economy of scale and once we do, we will explore other options to build new product lines in related areas.
We are going to seek initial investments in the form of State grants and other financing options to do conduct formal market research while we are developing the minimum viable product. We will seek startup funding, again from State grants or from venture capital especially angel investors that focus on social enterprises. We will essentially use the market research to get the startup funding. Once we get the startup funding we will work to expand our users base and scale our operations. After we have a strong use base and have data on how often, for how long, and how many people continually use our app, we can seek seed funding from investors. The seed funding can be used then to start a market research and start experimenting with different revenue models.
6. How will the platform be known? How will it get known to the communities? If women are isolated and mostly stay at home and do not use Facebook or can’t go to these community centres?
There are several options here. For those families who have children attending school, children can learn about this app through school. For example, because arts and crafts is a subject in most schools, teachers can tell students to use this app to learn their mothers about the app and together learn how to use it. Schools are important source for us.
Another possibility is to get in touch with NGOs. Because any NGOs in Pakistan are concerned with women rights, it will benefit us. Working with NGOs will make it easier for us to reach women in Pakistan.
7. Men do not allow the women to use Facebook etc, how till they allow them to use your app?
When men get information about women staying at their home and making money, it won’t be an issue. An article written by Elisabeth Braw and published on the Guardien, is about this situation. The article tells a story about women in Karachu. The men won’t let them leave the house because of strangers. Therefore, the women choose to gather together in a house where there are no men. From there they learn from each other and sell their products.
We want to use this strategy. The women can choose to stay at home and communicate with other women through the app. It will allow them to make money,
8. Why are you guys in Geneva? Contact people in Geneva with same interest?
We are trying to reach different NGOs in Geneva and also different people with same interest.
Today we received feedback from Stephanie and Fernando regarding pitch and prototype
Content creation?? Who’s going to show the tutorial? Already existing tutorials??
Call the NGO’s if they haven’t contacted yet
Where is the content coming from?, re-use some contact, partners
Too harsh with there is no gender equality in Pakistan - re-phrase it!!!
Make the idea much more clear, allow the questions to be direct
where is the content coming from??
How to present the tutorials to the users?
for the pitch: it felt a little bit too systematic- not telling about the problem- a way to explain it more humanly- empathy/ with story
data to support that it is a good entry point
a way to present that studies shows that this is a entry point to the market
NGO who’s already doing it
teaching them to sew will lead to entrepreneurship etc. very good first step with the NGO, they don’t have to dependent on the men
convince audience with a western mindset
Women mental health is not spoken much about in Pakistan. Dawn news has written an article on mental health and Pakistan. The article states that The Pakistan Association for Mental Health (PAMH) has said the country is getting “depressed” with each passing day. It also says that “25 per cent of the people with mental disorder suffered from depression and women were depressed twice as that of men”. The reason behind depression among women can be Biological reasons.
“It is not clear whether the higher prevalence in Pakistan can be explained by social factors. Both previous studies from Pakistan found increased rates of anxiety}depression in association with relative poverty, with low levels of literacy}education but also, for married women, living in unitary, as opposed to extended families (Mumford et al. 1996, 1997). This raised the possibility that there were particular stresses on women in Pakistan society, perhaps due to lack of control over their lives (Mumford et al. 1997)”.
SiDo can help these women to have more control over their own lives as they can become entrepreneurs, learn, teach and communicate.
Are we trying to solve too many things?
We want our application to have three main functions. In the sources we have referred to till now, as stated, many women can’t leave their homes, and many are unemployed. We want to give them an opportunity ti gain knowledge in sewing, which is popular among many in Pakistan. It is important that these women can talk to each other and at the same time get the chance to exchange materials.
Creating a marketplace, buyer and a seller? Why would someone download and buy?
Our goal is not to create an app that people only download to buy. We want women to learn, share ideas and exchange patterns.
Would you buy, sell to distributional platform via NGOs etc., instead of selling directly?
We don’t know yet. Need to do more research here.
Do the women have to rely on the children to access to the application?
No! This is just an option
How did you learn about the status quo of Pakistani women’s sewing
The textile sector in Pakistan has an overwhelming impact on the economy, contributing 57% to the country’s exports.
There are many sewing centers in Pakistan. Based on this, we assume that many women in Pakistan are into sewing.
How will you control the quality of the hand-made clothes, compared to the industrial products?
It is true that people think twice before purchasing hand-made clothes in comparison to machine made clothes. Machine made clothes are produced in bulk. They give the same treatment to a large quantity of apparel. It is likely that they miss out on a fair treatment at some of the lot, but it is unlikely that they give better treatment to the out. On the other hand,. When a person sews clothes for which he or she has received special orders, it is likely that you spend time doing the best, because you have to get paid. You don’t want to lose customers, but get more customers. If the customers gives you for example 5 stars, more people will start buying from you. This can be a kind of motivation to provide the best possible quality
How woman is using the technology to transform the textile industry
We have contacted some NGOs from Pakistan and Geneva. We are now waiting for their response
We've reached out to a foundation called Karvaan Caft Foundation. After having a skype call with them, we decided to work together.
Their mission is:
"To create opportunities for income generation among women in poor communities, by strengthening their skills, business capacities and market linkages. Economic capacities, that enables an individual
to contribute to self-development, family and community".
Links to short films that gives a holistic sense of how Karvaan is adrdressing Pakistan Rural Community need:
After the pitch today, we got some feedback on what we should work more with.
We must be clearer about the problem and the idea. When we get questions, we need to answer clearly why we decided to focus on sewing and what kind of significance it has for society, It is important to answer why we want these women to learn to sew and what effect this application/idea has for them.
Why provide all of these platforms; learning, social and hub. This is womething we need to be clearer about when we pitch.
why just learn how to sew?
why provide all of these platforms; social, hub, learning
the safety and entrepreneurship in one place
how will it be sustainable? how to deploy
why just sewing and not other skills-
don’t they already know the skill?
is it still in market( a skill that is needed?)
one of many crafts
provide more crafts in future
why the 3 first statistics?
do all families have phones?
what will you do with the collaborator
understand the diagram
read the kaarvan documents.
We held a meeting with three members of ITC. They have experience in different areas that are very relevant to our project. The feedback we received from them:
It is easier to implement in urban areas, but not very much needed. In rural areas, the digital literacy is very low, infrastructure is missing, and online aspect might be restrictive. If an idea like this is implemented, there should be more videos/audio tutorials dubbed in the regional languages. It should be something that is downloadable in a centre, and women can later take that home to further learn. The centres located in rural areas with infrastructure, should be used.
We should work in areas like Punjab. Some areas in Pakistan are sensitive and has high security, places blocked off, and people often need special permission for access. Therefor it is easier to start with a for example city in Punjab.
When it comes to partnership, we should work with local partners that already have connection with communities (NGO’s). If we work with NGOs, we should train the trainers about how to use the application, and they can later train the users. collect finished products through NGO, then sell to communities/ global market
Rural schools might be interested. Vocation schools teach courses that are based on the rural pattern of income source.
Handicraft is much needed in Pakistan, as Pakistani culture is based on tailoring. Most of the agriculture is done by women. empowering them to have a choice empowering not mean to do men’s part financial constraint for Pakistani women in India and Pakistan: men have tailor shops women work from home. SiDo will give them opportunity to start a business, need help from the beginning
Talk with Ahmed ITU:
CHallenging idea to explain to people who doesnt understand the situation
this platform has women branded, only for a certain part of population
brand it for women
Innovation is the branding
dont explain, implement it and show the results
implement and show why it works
how to get more attraction?
start with basic features( photos, how it looks like)
go to places where women transactioning/ activity happens, factor, test it
track the women
offer all they do just online additional to offline
direct benifit: women dont have to go to street, shops, they go to those online
build women community
capacity building( education)
go to market/ track the women doing it
go to stakeholders
schools, vast majority of users
she trades initiative
Link to our learning planet assembly