(26 September 2018)
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 Wednesday said 49 percent of Pakistan’s population is comprised on women only 25 percent of which is a part of workforce. Majority of women, about 60 percent are working in agriculture sector, 10 percent in services sector while in the rest of important economic sectors women’s participation is negligible. According to recent surveys, 40 percent of the Country population is comprised of youth; 8 percent of which is working while in female the situation is worse. The prime objective of planning commission’s vision 2025 is to develop human; to serve the purpose, the commission has made huge investment and established center for social entrepreneurship.
The veteran business leader while talking to the delegation of Attock women chamber of commerce lead by the chamber’s patron in chief Hina Mansab Khan said that Attock is famous for traditional crafts including embroidered shoes, painted and lacquered wood work, calico printing, handmade cloths, blankets, printed bed sheets and table covers all over the Country. According to pre-investment study of the Government of Punjab, there lies huge investment potential in the city in various sectors including handicrafts, fashion designing, beauty products, photography, bakery and confectionery. Skilled and educated women can play significant role in the economic development of the country.
The former minister said that encouraging women entrepreneurs is need of time. Women can avail financial assistance through State Bank of Pakistan, First women Bank, Akhuwat Foundation and other micro-financing institution to spread existing or start new businesses. Inclusion of women in the economic activities in the developing countries like Pakistan is vital. Only 16 percent women were part of workforce back in 1992 while according to current gender inequality index of the UNDP 25 person women are working which shows only 9 percent increase in women workforce in the last 26 years, which is worth consideration. India ranked 130 on the World’s gender inequality index while Pakistan ranked 150, the least in the South Asia.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that people of Pakistan are blessed with countless capabilities and our women are no lesser than men in any aspect. Government need to take measures for capacity building of women and curbing problems to women workforce with the help of 15 women chambers of commerce given to several changes coming because of automation Worldwide. The laws available to protect women rights need to be observed in its true spirit and challenges faced by working women, including harassment at work places need to be curbed.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that there are advanced and professional institutions in Attock, Chakwal and nearby districts, which is a major hurdle in higher education of women in the area. Though universities are there in Wah but there are no boarding facilities therefore women from other areas are not inclined towards them. Government need to establish higher education and capacity building institutions in the area to polish the skills of local women.