ICCI calls for gender inclusive policies to boost economic growth

ISLAMABAD ( Web News )

Sardar Yasir Ilyas Khan, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICCI) emphasized that the government should focus on gender inclusive policies and take strong measures to bring more women at workplaces in order to realize the actual economic potential of the country. He said that women were half of our total population and bringing them into the mainstream of the economy was very important to enhance their contribution in the economic development of the country. He said this while addressing as chief guest at the District Convention of Women Workers Alliance organized in collaboration with Sustainable Social Development Organization.  Parliamentary Secretary Ms. Ghazala Saifi, DG Health Hassan Orooj, Executive Director Sustainable Social Development Organization Syed Kausar Abbas, Clinical Psychologist Ms. Sobia Khateeb, ASP Investigation Ms. Ayesha, ASP ITP Ms. Faryal, members of Women Workers Alliance, teachers, doctors, LHWs, lawyers, media personnel, women workers, policymakers, entrepreneurs and experts of different fields attended the convention.

Sardar Yasir Ilyas Khan said that as per World Bank’s report 2019, women’s participation in Pakistani workforce was just 22 percent while it was over 55 percent in most of the well-developed countries. He said that women participation in the labor force was 50 percent in Kuwait, 51 percent in Malaysia, 54 percent in Indonesia, 57 percent in Qatar and 61 percent in China. Therefore, it was very important for Pakistan to enhance women’s participation in workplaces for boosting its economic growth. He said that according to an IMF report, Pakistan’s GDP could be increased by up to 30 percent by empowering more women and increasing their share in the workforce.  It showed the importance of bringing women into the mainstream of the economy.

He said that ICCI was working on the policy of equal wages for its male and female employees and stressed that all public and private institutions should adopt equal wage policies for both genders to promote gender equality. He said that ICCI has also taken many initiatives for the economic empowerment of women and provided facilitation & support to businesswomen and start-ups. He said that the Chamber will continue to take initiatives for bringing more women in the business field for their economic empowerment.

ICCI President said it was encouraging that Pakistan has enacted several laws to strengthen women’s rights, including the National Policy for Development and Empowerment of Women, Protection against Harassment of Women at Workplace Act, and Criminal Law (Amendment) Act while there are further frameworks for women in the professional environment including the Gender Equality Policy Frameworks and Women Empowerment Packages and Initiatives. However, the government should take more policy measures to give an enhanced role to women in the national development by increasing their share in the national workforce. He said that the greater participation of women in the workforce would also bring greater diversity that would foster new ideas for production and management and boost aggregate productivity of the country.