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Women leaders envision greater participation in public policy-making

KARACHI: A roundtable consultative dialogue with women leaders from the corporate and business sectors, both profit and non-profit, was organised in collaboration with the Consulate General of Germany, Karachi and New World Concepts.

A pioneer in leadership development for professional women, New World Concepts led by Yasmin Hyder has been organising Women Leadership & Empowerment initiatives for the corporate and business sectors.

Yasmin stated “the objectives to support women economic empowerment, promote civic engagement and capacity development are what drives this roundtable dialogue in Pakistan.”

Consul General of Germany Dr Rudiger Lotz delivered the presiding address. Dr Lotz underlined the importance of significantly increasing the proportion of women in political life. “This is the only way to take the interests of all people, men and women, into account when making decisions in the political process.”

The session discussed and explored challenges facing women leaders, in seeking a greater participation in public policy making with the aim to encourage and enable positive change in difficult times and empower the next generation of female human capital in Pakistan.

Renate Kunast, Member German Parliament and Chair, Parliamentary Group on South Asia delivered a virtual address welcoming the dialogue and need for greater participation of women in all levels of public policy. She shared examples of Germany and European Union, highlighting role of women leaders from diverse sectors in country’s decision making.

Successful corporate women leaders from different sectors including banking, textiles, health, technology, oil and gas, pharmas, media, education, and non-profits were gathered to share their insights and experiences.

Fauzia Kehar, a banker, shared her thoughts on need for greater representation of women in leadership positions and fostering belief in their potential by empowering them for national level public participation.

Ronak Lakhani, Chairperson, Special Olympics Pakistan, detailed the importance of Inclusion of all and emphasized embracing diversity. She highlighted the path towards building a stronger and more supportive community for women empowerment in Pakistan.

Nazafreen Saigol spoke of the importance of women leaders embracing greater participation in public policy and decision making.

Sabeen Jatoi and Sabina Khatri shared their perspectives on how women leaders’ participation in public life influences socio economic and cultural norms.

Sidra Iqbal, celebrity anchor and Syeda Sarwat Gilani, renowned actress and entrepreneur, added valuable perspectives from the entertainment and entrepreneurial sectors, contributing to a comprehensive exploration of career shifts for women.

Dr Nausheen Wasi, Assistant Professor, Dept of International Relations, University of Karachi and Dr Tanveer Khalid, Honorary Secretary, PIIA presented technical analysis and summation of the consultative session.

The first roundtable dialogue explored the challenges impeding women’s participation in policy making and parliamentary landscape of Pakistan, as an intellectual platform for discourse and insight-sharing. The aim was to highlight the specific barriers hindering women’s active participation and progression, with a particular focus on identifying challenges encountered in choosing a career in public policy and parliament.

Source: Business Recorder