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KARACHI: Speakers at an event, organised by the Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCCI) to celebrate the International Women’s Day, underscored that although the situation has been improving in terms of women participation but it was still a long way to go therefore, the women have to be provided equal opportunities, support and a level playing field so that they could excel and attain prominent positions in political, social and business spheres.

In the last few decades, the situation has improved to an extent but lot more needs to be done as it has been observed that a huge segment of women after graduation face several barriers prior to getting into the workforce, of which only a few make their way to professional life which was a serious issue that requires everyone’s attention.

Chairman Businessmen Group (BMG), Zubair Motiwala, who joined the celebrations online, stressed that as it was the women who build a society as a mother, sister and wife hence, they must be given special attention, treated equally and provided equal opportunities whereas any injustice to women should not be tolerated and discrimination against women has to be brought to an end so that a better society could be created.

He was of the opinion that the general approach of focusing on sons’ education and giving least attention to daughters’ education was the major reason for all the ills being faced by our society and the country. “We have to deal with this issue and make collective efforts for raising awareness about the importance of education to daughters as well,” he added.

He also advised members of KCCI’s Women Entrepreneurs Subcommittee that they must not keep the international women’s day confined to celebrations only but it must be reserved as a day when women should review their overall performance throughout the year and set goals for next year. “Women entrepreneurs subcommittee must start headhunting and bring them to the Chamber so that these women could be helped out.”

General Secretary BMG AQ Khalil stressed that women have to be fully encouraged and supported by their family members so that they could outshine in their professional life but unfortunately, this was not happening in the society due to lack of awareness about women rights. “Keeping in view the highest-ever inflation in the country, it has become almost impossible to depend only on a man’s income for overcoming the domestic expenditures hence our women have to be encouraged and fully supported so that they could also contribute which would not only prove favourable for the whole family but also for the economy,” he said, adding that media can play an effective role in this regard.

President KCCI Muhammad Idrees, while warmly welcoming the participants, underscored the need to enhance women participation in KCCI’s activities so that this Chamber could better understand their problems and accordingly devise strategies on how the get them resolved. “The present government has introduced several financing facilities for women entrepreneurs whereas a major chunk of funds has also been allocated under Kamyab Jawan program but this facility was not being availed by many women mainly due to lack of awareness about the procedure,” he said, adding that KCCI has established Kamyab Jawan Markaz at its premises which can easily be approached to avail financing facility.

He informed that the Karachi Chamber will soon be holding a program for Small & Medium Enterprises (SMEs) this month in which discussions will be held to understand various financing facilities for SMEs hence, women entrepreneurs must also participate in this important event which would certainly prove beneficial for their businesses. “Moreover, KCCI will also be establishing a helpdesk with a view to guide women intending to go abroad either for higher studies or for business purposes.

He also advised women entrepreneurs to give suggestions about taxation and other policies affecting their businesses so that these could be thoroughly reviewed by relevant subcommittees and incorporated in KCCI’s Proposals for Federal Budget 2022-23.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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