OICCI reiterates commitment to women’s empowerment

OICCI is building on research and feedback from women in the workforce to launch a Women Empowerment white paper

News Desk March 10, 2019
Women Right Association organizes a candle light vigil on International Women Day. PHOTO: APP

The Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OICCI) has reaffirmed its commitment to promoting ‘Women Empowerment’ and ‘Gender Equality’ at workplaces in Pakistan.

The OICCI had launched the “Women Empowerment” initiative in 2017 in partnership with UN Women. Over the course of 2018, the OICCI conducted intense research and capacity-building in the field of gender balance and work place improvement. A survey conducted among OICCI member companies highlighted that only 2% of senior management positions were held by women whereas another 16% in middle management and 36% in junior management positions were filled by females. Over the past year, OICCI has organized training and coaching sessions to understand the impediments to increasing the ratio of women at the work place.

OICCI is building on this research and feedback from women in the workforce to launch a Women Empowerment white paper presenting a set of recommendations on different core issues of working women. This white paper aims to help the government of Pakistan to enact the appropriate regulatory infrastructure that promotes gender balance and empowers women in Pakistan’s corporate and business sector.

Shazia Syed, President of the OICCI, highlighted, “OICCI member companies, who represent the largest bloc of foreign investors in the country, are considered a role model for the corporate sector in the country when it comes to management skills, transfer of best practices and in promoting gender balance at the workplace. We are aware of our responsibility, which is why the OICCI is actively working to become part of policymaking with the government to resolve those issues which are considered hurdles in the progress of Pakistan in the Global Gender Gap Ranking.”

Abdul Aleem, Secretary General of the OICCI, added “Pakistan stands at 148 out of 149 countries in the Global Gender Gap ranking which is indeed extremely poor showing for a country with a population of over 200 million and a thriving economy. The Global Gender Gap Report 2018 identified that Pakistan is ranked 146th in economic participation and opportunity category, 139th in educational attainment, 145th in health and survival and 97th in political empowerment. We strongly believe that the country’s economy will benefit with greater gender balance and more female engagement, especially in the manufacturing and services sectors.”