Enabling environment is Key to encourage women’s economic participation

SCWEC Seminar on Empower Women: Empower Society & Pakistan Women Trade Fair Karachi, Pakistan:

The SAARC Chamber Women Entrepreneurs Council (Pakistan Chapter), under the aegis of SAARC CCI organized a seminar on “Empower Women: Empower Society” in collaboration with Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce & Industry and in partnership with Friedrich Naumann Foundation on 31st Jan 2015, Karachi, Pakistan.

Hon’ble Mrs. Syeda Shehla Raza, Deputy Speaker, Sindh Assembly-Pakistan was the Chief Guest of the seminar while Mr. S. M. Munir, Chairman, TDAP was invited as guest of honour. Mr. Iftikhar Ali Malik, Vice President (Pakistan Chapter), SAARC CCI, Mr. Mian Muhammad Idrees, President, FPCCI, Mrs. Shaista Pervaiz Malik, Chairperson, SCWEC and Mrs. Hina Mansab Khan, Vice Chairperson, SCWEC (Pakistan) whereas Dr. Shabana Haider made detail presentation.

In her address, Mrs. Raza in his address regarded education as a basic factor for women empowerment and called for promotion of women education to face global challenges. She emphasized the need for introducing social welfare programmes in realistic way. She applauded the role of media in highlighting the women-related issues and said that media in Pakistan had played a pivotal role in recent years highlighting economic empowerment of women, legal rights, health, the need to educate oneself, equality and justice both in the urban and rural areas. She added that low female participation in normal economic activities could be cited from gender disparities even in the field of education. There are also socio-cultural and historic factors responsible for their comparative backwardness. She said that although women-related issues could not be solved overnight as such there was no magic wand that could deliver a quick fix but coordinated efforts were drastically required to address the challenges. This problem is colossal and Pakistan People’s Party has devised many programs for uplift and empower of women in their province. She assured her full cooperation to the Chairperson SCWEC towards their endevours to empower women under her leadership.

Prior to that Mrs. Shaista Pervaiz Malik, Chairperson, SCWEC, while delivering welcome address urged upon the Governments in South Asia for providing enabling environment to encourage women’s participation in socio-economic activities to the extent of their potential. She was of the opinion that South Asian women were creating space for themselves in society despite growing violence against them. She added that with economic and social support, such as microcredit, skills training and childcare support, women can help provide healthy food, education, healthcare and safe housing to their family, which would help improve the quality of life for all us.

Mr. Iftikhar Ali Malik, Vice President, SAARC CCI in his address said that achieving gender equality required a concerted action involving strategies, tools, actions, and partnerships forged at different levels. He added that discrimination against females in terms of allocation of food and health care within the household has been one of the major problems faced by women in South Asia. He said that various studies show that women were not getting their due status in most of the South Asian countries. Mostly women, contributing 50% of the work force and some of them have started equally to men at different sectors of life like education and health along with household activities. However, despite this contribution, their roles has not been accepted with open heart.

Mr. Mian Muhammad Idrees, President, FPCCI in his remarks elaborated that with the advent of information technologies in 21st Century, the role of women has been accepted in almost all domain of human activity. Women are no more confined to four walls of the house; they have established their credentials not only in field of art, science, management but also handle diplomatic affairs of the state. He said Pakistani women are second-to-none. They are more committed, consistent and confident, than man folk of society, they however need be moderate in thoughts and actions to achieve the desire goals. He offered Mrs. Shaista Pervaiz Malik, Chairperson, SCWEC for full support of FPCCI. At this occasion he also announced premises and offices of FPCCI for meeting, conferences and display of women products.

Mr. S M Munir, Guest of Honor of the seminar in his address regarded low level of women involvement in decision making process, which according to him had negatively affected the women empowerment in recent past. He said that the role of women in development of nations is becoming stronger and stronger. He further said that to attain sustainable development, we will have to empower our women. Entrepreneurship is an important tool to empower women as such it enables them to exhibit best of their potential and determines them as a great helping hand in economic development. He highlighted initiatives undertaken by TDAP to encourage and empower women of Pakistan. He invited Chairman SCWEC to share future action plan of the council and ensured support of TDAP to carry forward their agenda.

At the conclusion of Seminar, the announcement of establishment of “Karachi Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KWCCI-Dist East)” was also made. The seminar was followed by inauguration of two days exhibition “Pakistan Women Trade Fair” in same hotel. The exhibition was formally inaugurated by Mr. S M Munir, Chairman, TDAP, Mr. Iftikhar Ali Malik, Vice President, SAARC CCI (Pak) and Senator Abdul Haseeb Khan. About forty stalls of different companies participated in the exhibition. The dignitaries visited the stalls one by one and applauded their efforts of women.

The Seminar was also addressed by Senator Abdul Haseeb Khan, Mr. S M Naseer, Mrs Saeeda Bano, President, Karachi Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KWCCI-Dist East)” and Ms. Hina Mansab Khan, Vice Chairperson SCWEC (Pakistan). Ms. Palwasha Yahya, Secretary General, Karachi Women Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KWCCI_ Dist East) moderated the Seminar.


Geo News SAARC chamber women entrepreneurs council program aired on January 31st 2015