World Bank to support women entrepreneurs in Pakistan


World Bank has decided to pay more attention to women entrepreneurs in Pakistan and to lend additional support at technical, academic and policy level.
World Bank has started reaching out to more female businesspersons to know their problems to serve them in best possible way.
In this connection, a team of World Bank Group comprising Yasuhiko Yuge, Private and Financial Sector Specialist, South Asia Region, Maria Paulina Mogolion, Strategy and Operations Officer and Mr. Sarmad visited Islamabad Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IWCCI) and met with its founder president Samina Fazil.
Former Vice President Naima Ansari and others were also present on the occasion. They said that the role of women in creating, running, and growing businesses is recognized as fundamental for growth and poverty reduction.
The foreign experts said that some women entrepreneurs face larger obstacles in accessing credit, training, networks and information, barriers in the legal and policy framework and as a result may not achieve the same level of performance as their male counterparts.
At the occasion Samina Fazil and Naima Ansari said that many interventions have not been effective in eliminating gender-based distortions resulting in lack of opportunities for women to prosper.
Samina Fazil said that women are still dying in childbirth, they continue to lack voice and decision-making ability and their economic opportunities remain very constrained which is unfair.
She called upon all the concerned authorities to look the issue of women empowerment from the perspective of social justice and strive to take up gender sensitization beyond governance mechanisms to make it a movement.
Naima Ansari said that government should initiate plans to find how women entrepreneurs can contribute more to the quality and direction of economic and social development.
Thrust on gender equality issues will have a positive impact on social development goals, she added.
Women have strong economic rights in Islam and there is a tradition of women in business.
We have a powerful role model in the first wife of the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH), Khadija (RA), a wealthy trader and powerful businesswoman of her time who was pivotal in the rise of Islam, said Naima Ansari.
Pakistan can only prosper when steps are taken to push women’s entrepreneurship to its potential.