Pakistan must start viewing trade, economy through gendered lens: Dastgir

Muhammad Arshad


Federal Minister for Commerce, Engr. Khurram Dastgir Khan, Wednesday, said that Pakistan should start viewing trade, business and economy through a gendered lens and provide specific opportunities to its women to realize their potential and lift the economy to new heights.
He said this while addressing at a seminar “SHE TRADES” organized by the ministry of commerce in collaboration with International Trade Center (ITC) in Serena Hotel Islamabad. Arancha Gonzalez, Executive Director, ITC and Minister for IT, Anusha Rehman was also present at the seminar.
The commerce minister after welcoming the distinguished panelists and participants to the seminar said that SHE TRADES is a global initiative that seeks to empower women through trade and that it was a matter of pride that Pakistan, with an ever-increasing number of women entrepreneurs finding their way into global business, offers a huge potential in terms of increasing women’s participation in the international and domestic economies.
The minister further said that today’s seminar would go a long way in making a statement to the world that Pakistan stood firmly behind the commitments made under the “SHE TRADES” seminar to connect half a million women to the market by 2020 and also supported new commitments for connecting one million women to the market by the same year.
Minister of State for IT and Telecom, Anusha Rehman while participating in panel discussion in a “SHE TRADES” seminar stated that it is not the duty of few women to work for the women empowerment instead it is everyone’s obligation to contribute in this larger global agenda of inclusiveness and women empowerment.
She stated that our government under the leadership of PM Muhammad Nawaz Sharif is religiously working on this agenda of digital and financial inclusion. She said that we have started special programs under which 150 ICT labs will be established that will impart training to girls in coding and computing through Microsoft and would be able to earn an honorable livelihood while sitting at their homes.
Similarly, we are initiating a pilot project under USF for the women of underdeveloped areas and in first phase, 30 thousand women registered with BISP will be provided Android phones with balance and training to materialize the digital inclusion, said the minister for IT and Telecom.
Anusha Rehman proposed that by using this platform, Ministry of IT is ready to work with Ministry of Commerce and Trade organizations to work in collaboration for training of the women of rural areas who work from their home to eliminate the role of middle man.
Arancha Gonzalez, Executive Director, ITC who was a keynote speaker said that the purpose of her visit to Pakistan and organizing of this SHE TRADE seminar is to work with the government of Pakistan for the women’s economic empowerment.
She further said that Pakistani government must enact fair policies that are gender sensitive, ensure quality and accurate data system, secure government contracts for women, strike business deals with women and gave them market accessibility, unlock financial services for women and grant them ownership rights.
Arancha Gonzalez said that Pakistan has huge potential and as Pakistan has moved towards normalcy the time is ripe for the government to work for the empowerment of women through trade.

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