Governor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar on Wednesday urged women to contribute towards economic development. He said that progress would remain a chimera without their participation. The governor was speaking at the inaugural session of the Home Based Workers (HBW) exhibition.
Sarwar and South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Chamber Women Entrepreneurs Council Chairperson Member National Assembly (MNA) Shaista Pervez Malik inaugurated the exhibition.
The event was jointly organised by the All Pakistan Women Association (APWA) and the Saarc Chamber Women Entrepreneurs Council (SCWEC) to promote the work of female artisans. Sarwar said that that it was imperative to empower women to ensure that the country excelled and realised its full potential. The governor said that women would be empowered to assert their rightful place in the march towards prosperity as they were equal stakeholders in nation building. He said that measures were being taken to ensure adequate female representation in decision making processes at the institutional level.
Malik said that HBW’s work needed to be promoted across all mediums. She said that contemporary women had the ability to overcome challenges with fortitude. The chairperson said that the SCWEC had taken this imitative to highlight the capabilities of working women with exploiting them. She said that women comprise over 50 percent of the population. It was imperative therefore to assimilate them into the national mainstream to ensure economic development. Malik said that the SCWEC endeavoured to be a skill incubator for the working women of Pakistan and provide them with knowledge, expertise and training. She said that the SWEC would strive to promote Pakistani produce in Saarc member countries.
Apwa Programme Manager Durre Shahwar said that the Apwa worked with women through community centres across Pakistan. Shahwar said that the Apwa had been running dedicated programmes for the education, health and economic emancipation of women. She praised the SCWEC for collaborating with the Apwa.
The exhibit primarily showcased the work of widows, victims of violence and young entrepreneurs. A number of other speakers addressed the gathering.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 24th, 2014.