ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The National Commission on the Status of Women (NCSW) in collaboration with the Egyptian Embassy and UN Women Pakistan organized a meeting between the office bearers of the Women Chambers of Commerce and Industries from all over Pakistan and key figures from the financial institutes/major Banks today at the Egyptian Embassy in Islamabad.
The prime objective of the activity was to improve coordination between these two major actors through interactive dialogue for enhanced financial inclusion of women.
Speaking on the occasion, the Chairperson NCSW Ms. Nilofar Bakhtiar said that the economic empowerment of women is the key to the development and progress of this nation.
Ms. Nilofar Bakhtiar said that the NCSW works on this agenda by introducing various initiatives and bringing together key actors to openly discuss the gaps and to identify solutions essential for inclusion of more women in the business world.
The Chairperson NCSW said that at present, only one percent of women are entrepreneurs in Pakistan, which is the lowest rate in this region.
The Presidents of the Women Chamber of Commerce and Industries from Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Lahore, Quetta, Peshawar, Karachi, AJ&K and Gilgit Baltistan were present on the occasion.
Other major financial institutions those participated were the State Bank of Pakistan, National Bank of Pakistan, First Women Bank, and JS Bank.
The Women Chamber of Commerce and Industries office holders demanded greater resource allocation for women-owned small and medium enterprises by the financial institutes.
The spouse of the Egyptian Ambassador to Pakistan Ms. Aliya provided the venue for the dialogue being a keen supporter of women’s economic empowerment initiatives. She believes that women from all over the globe need to support each other to claim their rightful status in society.
The Country-Head UN Women Pakistan Ms. Sharmeela Rasool also spoke on occasion and elaborated the critical importance of this initiative and assured maximum support of UN-Women Pakistan in taking this agenda forward.
The whole group agreed to mutually support and promote products made by women, home-based workers and other women-led businesses.
It was agreed that NCSW with the support of the Egyptian Embassy and UN Women Pakistan will organize peer-learning workshops.
The NCSW is already working on these lines by organizing webinars with international role models in the business world and providing opportunities of dialogue between them and our local entrepreneurs to improve networking and to learn from each other.
The NCSW and UN Women suggested changes in chamber policies to ensure gender parity among staff and to make membership of the Chamber easier so that more and more women can join.