These remarks were made by Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs Ms. Andleeb Abbas during the Public-Private Dialogue on Gender Focused Economic Reforms, organised by Center for Research and Security Studies (CRSS) – with the strategic support of Ms. Sajida Zulfiqar, MNA – at PIPS Hall, Parliament Lodges, Islamabad, says a press release on Thursday.
She said that women in Pakistan have infinite potential, they just need opportunities for channelising their potential and talent into a successful future. The economic empowerment of women require legislation for ease of doing business and to provide them a conducive economic environment, she added.
She said that while it is encouraging to see the female chambers endeavouring to voice the female entrepreneurs’ concerns, it is important to have more women representation in the male chambers as a matter of equality.
The event witnessed an overwhelming participation of the members of Parliament; especially female parliamentarians and private sector representatives along with the representatives of the State Bank and SMEDA.
Ms. Sajida Zulfiqar, MNA, moderating the discussion, said, “Given the increasing desire of the people to start their own businesses, we need to set-up more chambers to give them a platform to voice their concerns and create critical linkages between the chambers and the government to ensure inclusive policy making.”
Ms. Ghazala Saifi, MNA said that the export oriented approach demands capacity building of exporters before they can compete in the international market and participate in the mainstream exports industry.
Ms. Masooma Sibtain, former Vice President, Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FPCCI) called for the robust feedback of private sector on the potential avenues for enhanced economic participation of women given the impending SME policy and Strategic Trade Policy Framework (STPF) and their importance to reduce the alarming gender gap and add to the Pakistan’s GDP by about 30%.
The participating private sector leaders – mostly females – were of the view that the financing opportunities offered to the women entrepreneurs by the banks should be linked to their rating; in case of non-compliance, the banks’ ratings shall drop. They were appreciative of the overwhelming turn up of parliamentarians for dialogue on gender inclusive economic reforms and hoped for a meaningful response by the legislature on the issues conveyed, hence called for follow-up dialogues on the same.