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Alvi seeks enabling environment for women in business, industrial sectors

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ISLAMABAD: President Dr Arif Alvi on Saturday called for creating an enabling environment to ensure participation and inclusion of women in economic, business, trade and industrial sectors on a fast-track basis.

He expressed these views while talking to a delegation of the Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Peshawar (WCC&IP) led by its president, Shahida Parveen, at Aiwan-i-Sadr.

Welcoming the delegation, President Alvi said women made up almost 50pc of the country’s population and ensuring their safety and security at workplace and providing quality education and skills to them should be the government as well as society’s priority.

“Local traditions and practices regarding women’s property and inheritance rights need to be changed and women should be given all property rights admissible to them as per our religion and the Constitution,” Mr Alvi said.

Says banks providing business loans to women under favourable and easy terms

He said steps had been taken for their financial empowerment, and that legislation was passed to give their due share in inherited property, adding that as per law, if the property of a woman had been encroached upon, it would be gotten vacated by the government.

The president also highlighted that commercial banks were providing business loans to women under favourable and easy terms and conditions and called upon the chambers of commerce around the country to help women entrepreneurs secure loans to start their businesses and improve upon their existing setups.

He also urged the WCC&IP to create linkages with other chambers for greater participation of women, expressing his concerns over the fact that Pakistan had one of the lowest workforce participation rates for women in the world.

The president said the Federal Ombudsman Secretariat for Protection against Harassment at Workplace (FOSPAH) had also been empowered to hear the grievances of women even if such cases were already being heard by the courts, adding that the secretariat had been further authorised to send its reports and findings for perusal of the courts.

Mr Alvi called on the WCC&IP to motivate businesswomen to benefit from the programme launched by Facebook with the help of Tevta Punjab for imparting training to them and marketing their products.

He said Amazon was another effective platform which could be used by businesswomen to market their products.

President Alvi appreciated the Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry Peshawar for providing an effective and vibrant platform to help women enter business, trade and industry and assisting those already pursuing businesses.

Published in Dawn, July 17th, 2022

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