Roshaneh Zafar, Founder and Managing Director of Kashf Foundation, Was Awarded A Doctorate For General Merit From The University Of Antwerp
Roshaneh Zafar was honored with an honorary Ph.D. from the University of Antwerp in 2023, recognizing her exceptional contributions to the establishment of a poverty-free and gender-equitable society. Zafar’s groundbreaking journey began with the establishment of Kashf in 1996, marking the birth of Pakistan’s first microfinance organization. Kashf Foundation, committed to women’s financial inclusion, has since evolved into a prominent microfinance institution, impacting over seven million disadvantaged families.
Under Roshaneh’s visionary leadership, Kashf Foundation has flourished, serving 700,000 active female clients through 380 branches across Pakistan, and employing over 3,500 staff members. The institution has disbursed more than 6.6 million loans totaling over PKR 223 billion to women. In addition to financial services, Kashf has provided Financial Management Training to 1.6 million women. With 51% of its employees and 70% of its Board members being women, Kashf advocates for gender equality in a country with notably low female labor participation.
Guided by Roshaneh’s leadership, Kashf continues to expand its reach and impact. Initiatives include micro-saving products, support for local artisans, micro-equity programs, and enhanced climate resilience. Roshaneh Zafar’s legacy through Kashf Foundation embodies the transformative power of women’s empowerment, ushering in a brighter and more equitable future for Pakistan.