Women’s empowerment a must for economic development

Feb 17, 2018

LAHORE: Chairperson of the Punjab Commission on the Status of Women, Fauzia Viqar on Friday said the PCSW is making all out measures for gender equality and women empowerment that is a must for sustainable economic development of the country. 

She was talking to LCCI president Malik Tahir Javaid at Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry. Nasira Taskeen, Shamim Akhter, Talat Hafeez, Nilofer Sikandar, Shagufta Rehman, Uzma Mehmood and other members were also present on the occasion. 

Fauzia maintained that the Lahore Chamber has always supported and facilitated women empowerment. She said there is lack of linkages between institutes working for the women empowerment in Pakistan. She said status of independent women is still not satisfactory. Thirty percent GDP can be increased through women entrepreneurship and employment. She said women contribute only 1 percent in the whole country entrepreneurship which is the world’s poorest women entrepreneur rate. 

LCCI president Malik Tahir Javaid said women are important shareholder in building the society. At the same time they play different roles like as a mother, a daughter, a wife and sometimes being working woman. “We still lack in creating the much-needed awareness about determining the fair status of women in our society… How can we afford to let this potential workforce remain out of productive activities?” 

Malik Tahir Javaid said the following numbers further elaborate the current state of affairs that women land holding ownership and their leadership role is less than 1 percent. The wage differential for female staff is about 60 percent which shows the pay gap up to 40 percent as compared to male workers. The divide between male and female literacy levels in Pakistan is still wide at 69 percent and 50 percent respectively. 

In order to improve these numbers in favour of women, both government and private sector have to work in unison, he said adding that the LCCI is trying its level best to motivate the budding women entrepreneurs to come up and get their due share in businesses. Women Resource Centre in LCCI is providing guidelines to emerging women who are eager to get on their feet. Moreover, WRC serves as a common platform for experienced and young businesswomen who share their experiences with each other and also help out in case of any problem. To make it a formal activity, specific standing committees also work to represent these women at all possible forums, he said. 

He also informed the Chairperson of PCSW that presently, there are two women board members in Lahore Chamber. They along with other senior and experienced women devote their time and efforts to facilitate such women entrepreneurs who are committed to becoming economically independent.