She was briefing the media about the ongoing Women in Leadership (WIL) initiative at PCSW.
“As part of the project, PCSW has engaged women from the private sector to serve on boards and committees of public sector entities, and is facilitating implementation of the Punjab Women mpowerment Package 2012, and Punjab Fair Representation of Women Act 2014, both of which mandated at least 33 percent of women representation on all boards of public sector entities in Punjab.
Viqar encouraged public sector companies, statutory bodies, autonomous institutions and other public entities to include a greater number of women on their boards.
She stated women constitute approximately 50% of the population in Punjab, but only 19% of 121 Provincial departments/institutions fulfill 33% mandatory quota for women’s representation.
She urged the government to support representation of dynamic, highly competent and educated women on boards, because it is only with women’s full inclusion that society in general, will progress and collectively move towards gender equality and diversity.
In FY 2014-15, the Labor Force Participation Rate in Punjab stood at 27.8% for women, compared with 69.4% for men. Ms. Viqar affirmed that having women on decision-making positions also encourages other women to apply for positions, since their rights and needs are automatically better catered for by women in higher positions.
On the occasion, eight women leaders who have been mentored and trained on public sector governance, and some certified as Directors by Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP).
She said 22 female candidates have been successfully placed, and placement of additional women is in process. In addition, since the inception of the WIL initiative, 42 public sector boards have fulfilled the 33% quota for women set by Punjab Women Empowerment Package 2012.