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No progress without women’s share

June 24, 2012

ISLAMABAD, June 23: Development of the country cannot be ensured without involving female population in economic activities.

Women of Pakistan have talent and ability to do business but they should know how to market their products.

This was stated by Engineer Shadia Yousif Bakhait, the chief of United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), Pakistan, at the inaugural ceremony of a two-day expo held to promote women in the creative industry of Pakistan here on Saturday.

She said the women chamber of commerce can also help the female community start their business.

There are so many examples that females started business with little investment and after a few years they became well-known entrepreneurs.

“This event provides an opportunity to women entrepreneurs to display and market their products, develop skills, find new customers and improve networking,” she said.

Ms Bakhait said UNIDO was a pioneer in introducing creative industries while Women Entrepreneur Development Programme focused on promoting gender integration and non-traditional sub-sectors of marble mosaic, inlay and handicrafts, home textiles and gems and jewellery.

She called upon women entrepreneurs to design products keeping latest local and international trends in mind, adding serious efforts aimed at diversity can guarantee success.

The UNIDO chief said consumers were turning to the web and social networking sites because of convenience; therefore, business women should also utilise these tools for development.

Shahina Waheed, National Programme Coordinator UNIDO, said: “We are building capacity of women by providing them training, holding expos and workshops etc., with the help of local and foreign experts.”

She said they were focusing on product development, creativity for design business, gems identification, carving, faceting and jewellery making in collaboration with strategic partners.

The efforts to build capacity of women, develop their linkages with national and international markets and develop partnerships with value chain operators would continue, she said.

Representative of Peshawar Chamber of Commerce Mohammad Shahid said it was a wrong concept that women were less capable compared to males. They can achieve any target.

Ehsanul Haq of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa said less than three per cent females in the province had been working outside their houses.

The exhibition highlighted jewellery, handicrafts, garments, paintings, weaving, beadwork, painting, baskets, embroidery and other traditional folk arts.