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Islamabad Expo 2011: Financially empowering local women

ISLAMABAD: Women from across the country are actively taking part in the Islamabad Expo 2001 with high hopes of meeting their financial challenges.

The two-day event is a step towards women’s economic empowerment and houses a wide range of handmade garments, arts and crafts, home decor, jewellery, and foods. Organised by the Islamabad Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IWCCI), the event will conclude at the Jinnah Convention Centre till April 10.

Struggling with her illness and to earn a livelihood, Hanifa Qasim, a 36-year-old mother of two, has come from Bhawalpur to exhibit her home stitched clothes at the exposition.

After her husband lost his job and the family were striving to pay for her treatment for breast tumours, she set up a small boutique at her home. “I’m hopeful that this exhibition will help me earn enough money to finally complete my treatment,” she said.
Also from Bahawalpur, Mrs Tariq has exhibited home stitched clothes at the event with her four sons who help her with her business. “This is the first time I have put my work for sale in an expo and I hope that it will be of benefit,” she said while talking to The Express Tribune.

Another participant, Naima Bibi from Mansehra, had set up a stall selling various items including wallets, mobile covers, jewellery and decoration pieces. Content with her stall sale, she said, “I am surprised to see how many women are interested in buying cell phone covers.”

A young local interior designer, Sidra Khan said, “Such events provide women an opportunity to broaden their exposure in the field of business.” The 25-year-old manages three furniture showrooms in twin cities.

Although satisfied with the variety of products offered at the event, visitors complained that most items were pricy. “I was expecting that commodities would be offered here at reduced prices,” said Abeera Hashim, a housewife visiting the event, “However, some items are being sold at higher than market prices.” Another visitor, Mehreen Alvi said, “The event is fun. It offers entertainment for people of all ages,”

Among others, “Jhut Pat Rabte” and “Karobar Shifa Khana” were some interesting stalls where people dressed as doctors provided useful tips to visitors interested in improving their business skills.

Source: The Express Tribune