Arif Alvi urges equal opportunities for businesswomen

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Arif Alvi

ISLAMABAD, FEB 2: /DNA/ – Arif Alvi, President of Pakistan urged that businesswomen should be provided equal opportunities to grow in the business field that would pave the way for better development of the economy and bring prosperity to the country. He said that enhanced participation of women in business and other fields is so important to reduce poverty and ensure sustainable development of the country. He stressed that the government should create better opportunities for the economic empowerment of women and focus on providing them with a safe and conducive workplace environment. He said this while addressing the award ceremony for businesswomen and young entrepreneurs organized by the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry at Aiwan-e-Sadr, Islamabad.

President Dr. Arif Alvi lauded the efforts of the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce for organizing an award ceremony to recognize the role of businesswomen and young entrepreneurs and said that other chambers of commerce should also work for the economic empowerment of women and youngsters. He urged the Chambers of Commerce to support businesswomen in getting cheap loans from banks. He said that 20 to 40 percent of employees in SBP and private commercial banks are women, so chambers of commerce should also encourage their member companies to provide jobs to more women and special persons in their business institutions. He said that over 20 million children are out of school in Pakistan, and more than 50,000 schools are needed for their enrollment. However, as an alternative, mosques can be used to educate out-of-school children. Similarly, mosques can also be used as primary health centers.

Speaking on the occasion, Ahsan Zafar Bakhtawari, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industries said that to ensure the development and prosperity of the country, it is important to empower women in every sphere of life. ICCI is working hard to empower women and youth. He said that women are 50% of our population, but their participation in business is meager. Our women are very talented and the government should provide them with cheap loans to start their businesses. He said that IT should be given the status of industry to boost the IT sector and its exports, which are important for the country’s development and prosperity. He said that a certain quota for women entrepreneurs should be reserved in the seats of the Parliament. The government should allocate a plot to the Islamabad Women’s Chamber of Commerce to construct its building and play an effective role in promoting the interests of women entrepreneurs. He said that ICCI will continue to provide all possible guidance to women to start the business.

Khalid Iqbal Malik, Group Leader of ICCI, said that the government should take steps to increase the literacy rate, open more vocational training institutes for skill development, and privatize the loss-making government commercial enterprises. Female entrepreneur Zubia Zubair said women should be brought into the national mainstream by providing ample opportunities. She said that women should be given adequate representation in all sectors. Women should also get an education and learn modern skills.Awards were given to 18 young entrepreneurs and 18 women entrepreneurs in the ceremony in recognition of their achievements in the business field.