Islamabad, OCT 14 /DNA/ – Ahsan Zafar Bakhtawari, President, Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICCI) said that a large number of women businesses have been destroyed in flood-hit areas due to which women entrepreneurs are facing great hardships and urged that the federal and provincial governments should come forward to provide support to businesswomen of rural areas in reviving their businesses. He said this while addressing the 15th Annual Rural Women Leadership Conference 2022 organized by ICCI in collaboration with National Commission on the Status of Women and Potohar Organization for Development Advocacy (PODA). Women from four provinces of Pakistan, Gilgit Baltistan and Azad Kashmir attended the event.
Ahsan Bakhtawari said that ICCI is ready to connect the women entrepreneurs of rural areas with online platforms like Amazon so that they could get easy access to international markets to improve exports and earn more foreign exchange for the country. He assured that ICCI can organize exhibitions of the products of rural businesswomen to showcase their potential for trade export.
Nilofar Bakhtiar, Chairperson, National Commission on the Status of Women in her address said that economic empowerment and financial inclusion of women is the best option to reduce poverty and promote prosperity in the country. She shared the initiatives of her organization to promote gender equality and empowerment of women. She thanked ICCI for hosting the women conference and hoped that such conferences would help change the role of rural women from vulnerability to change makers by building linkages and partnerships with others.
Sameena Nazir, Founding President, PODA said that women entrepreneurs in rural areas are exporting their products to many countries, but the destruction of their businesses due to recent floods have created financial problems for them. She stressed that all stakeholders including the government should support them in reviving their businesses. She further emphasized that the government should take measures to empower the women of rural areas of Pakistan that would equip them with the confidence to stand up and claim their equal place in society.
Many women entrepreneurs from rural areas of Pakistan shared their success stories and highlighted the issues being faced by them in running business activities in rural areas.Azhar ul Islam Zafar Vice President ICCI, Zafar Bakhtawari, Zubair Ahmed Malik, Muhammad Ejaz Abbasi, Ms. Fatima Azim, Ms. Parveen Khan, Ms. Nasira Ali and others were also present at the occasion.