June 30, 2016
President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF), President AKIA, Senior Vice Chairman of the Businessmen Panel of FPCCI and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain on Thursday drew attention of authorities toward plight of women entrepreneurs in Baluchistan.
Most of the women in the underdeveloped province of Baluchistan are indulged in embroidery and handicrafts. They are working hard but not getting due prices because they are not allowed to access market themselves but are dependent upon middlemen, he said.
Inflexible social customs and practices are widely blamed for the plight of Balochi women resulting high rate of maternal mortality, female illiteracy, unemployment and gender disparity which must be tackled so that they could be empowered.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that illiteracy is a serious problem in the province which is dragging down the businesswomen as majority lack basic understanding of setting and promoting their businesses.
Moreover, he said, family and society barriers hinder them to get their business registered with the relevant departments.
He said that getting finance is also a problem impeding growth of their business as procedures are too complicated for them.
Branchless banking is gaining momentum in developed areas of the country but situation in Baluchistan is different where women are not aware of branchless banking to get max benefit of it, he added.
He said that exhibitions are not held in Baluchistan frequently while the women artisans have very limited access to local, national or international events while they are not aware of the basics of a successful entrepreneurship.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that women in Baluchistan given least opportunity, facilities and liberty to join other businesses to grow their businesses.
He said that concerned departments should help the women to grow through ensuring their participation in expos, manage their networking and infuse skills including research and development.
Moreover, the number of women’s vocational and training centres should be increased along with, setting woman only bank branches and also (SMEDA), should use woman staff to increase contacts with woman entrepreneurs, to ensure rapid social and economic progress in Baluchistan in order to bring this under-developed province in the mainstream.