Saturday November 27, 2021

Significant steps being taken to empower women: Sheikh Rashid

September 30, 2021

Islamabad : Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid on Wednesday said that the government is trying its best to empower women which is a vital factor for the wellbeing and growth of a nation.

He said that government is serious about providing equal rights, responsibilities, and opportunities to all genders. The incumbent government has taken several significant measures that promote social inclusion gender equality and women empowerment he added.

Sheikh Rashid expressed these views while addressing the 12th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of Islamabad Women s Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IWCCI) in which Naima Ansari was elected as President unopposed for the year 2021-22.

Sadaf Asim Abbasi was elected as Senior Vice President while Rubina Shafqat became Vice President.

The interior minister said that every person should have equal access to health education water and sanitation and growth which is imperative for ending hunger and poverty.

Representation of women in public, as well as private sector organizations, improves performance due to better decision making he said adding that pay gaps limited mobility discrimination, and lack of job security are some of the barriers towards women empowerment.

Sheikh Rasheed said that these challenges have now been aggravated by the pandemic which has resulted in new obstacles to building inclusive and prosperous societies.

Speaking at the occasion, Founder President, IWCCI, Samina Fazil said that gender gaps already existed in our society which has been augmented by the pandemic.

The pandemic has damaged the majority of the businesswomen and we would like to remind the minister regarding his promise to establish markets for women.

Samina Fazil said that majority of women in Pakistan work in the non-formal sector where they work for long hours with low wages no benefits and no job security.

Newly elected President IWCCI Naima Ansari said that according to the Global Gender Gap Report 2021 Pakistan ranked 153rd out of 156 countries as per the gender parity index.

There is a great deal of evidence that societies that discriminate on the basis of gender pay a price in more poverty slower growth and a lower quality of life whereas gender equality enhances development she added.

Empowered women and girls can become a powerful force and contribute to the well-being of their families and communities. The nonexistence of gender equality entails the enormous loss of human potential as well as for development Naima Ansari informed.

DG, SASSI, Maria Sultan, Secretary-General of UBG, Zafar Bakhtawri, Chief Coordinator, UBG, Malik Sohail and elected office-bearers said that women and girls, men and boys must have equal access to all opportunities while women are central to development. Women also make an important contribution to the money economy by their work in both the formal and informal sectors but these roles are often ignored, they added.

It is critical to address the structural causes of gender inequality such as violence against women economic empowerment decent workplace environment skill development resource mobilization etc.

Erum Irfan Munazza Arif Rabia Raheel Humaira Gillani Imrana Rubab Tanzeela Ayaz Shazia Kanwal Neelofar Khan Rozina Lahooti and Saira Rehan were elected as members of the Executive Committee.