Provincial Assembly members Nusrat Bano Sehar Abbasi and Tanzila Umi Habiba have stressed the need to change the mindset of society, as working women are still not acceptable at higher ranks and face a plethora of problems in dealing with the affairs in a male-dominated society.

Speaking at an event held at the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) to mark International Women’s Day, they said that working women, who struggle hard both at home and the workplace, deserve to be given due respect and equal rights for the creation of a better society. They also urged women entrepreneurs to set goals and highlight their achievements of the whole year on this particular day.

Executive Director Jinnah Post Graduate Medical Center Dr. Seemin Jamali, CEO Indus Hospital Dr Abdul Bari Khan, Deputy General Manager Indus Hospital Dr Farah Bari, Chairman Businessmen Group and Former President KCCI Zubair Motiwala, General Secretary BMG AQ Khalil, President KCCI Shariq Vohra, Senior Vice President KCCI Saqib Goodluck, Vice President Shamsul Islam Khan, Chairperson of KCCI’s Women Entrepreneurs Subcommittee Durre Shahwar Nisar, Prof Dr Sajida Parveen, Former Presidents, and a large number of women entrepreneurs attended the event.

MPA Nusrat Abbasi was of the opinion that the situation in urban areas was not as bad as in rural areas, where the women were largely suppressed all the time. “Out of these women, if anyone dares to stand up to resist or raises voice for her rights, she is usually sneered at and faces dire consequences,” she said.

MPA Tanzila Umi Habiba said: “We, the women, need to be made economically strong, as economic empowerment is the only way that leads to women empowerment. We admit we are different but no less than anyone, hence we must be provided equal rights and opportunities at all the platforms.”

Speaking on the occasion, Chairman BMG Zubair Motiwala pointed out that Women’s Day, which was being celebrated since 1911, should not remain confined to just a celebration only but on this particular day, but women entrepreneurs must highlight all their achievements of the last year and set targets for next year. He was of the opinion that although women have succeeded in achieving what they demanded in the past when the International Women’s Day movement began, their participation in the workforce was still too low—not only in Pakistan but also in the rest of the world.

“In Netherlands, 40 percent are working women whereas even in the United States, somewhere around 30 percent are working women, and in Pakistan, this figure must be very low as compared to developed countries which require special attention and collective efforts”, said Zubair Motiwala. “Women can become good entrepreneurs and are no less indispensable to society than men.”

He was of the opinion that women were confronting a lot of problems due to the shrinking number of employment opportunities because the cottage and home industry in Pakistan has been steadily dying, which was a very serious issue. Hence, he said, the government must come up with effective strategies to save this crucial industry capable of generating millions of jobs.

President KCCI Shariq Vohra, in his welcome address, said: “Every initiative taken by women entrepreneurs will be fully supported by us.”

Chairperson Women Entrepreneurs Subcommittee Durre Shahwar Nisar appreciated the all-time support and cooperation extended by Chairman BMG who has always encouraged women entrepreneurs to densely participate in KCCI’s activities, and raised a strong voice for their rights.

“KCCI is and will always be a vibrant platform for women entrepreneurs,” she added.

Dr Seemin Jamali, Dr Abdul Bari Khan, Prof Dr Sajida Parveen also shared their experiences at the event.


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