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ICCI and First Women Bank to work for economic empowerment of women September 16, 2013
Meeting at ICCI
 
Women are almost half of Pakistan’s total population and encouraging them towards entrepreneurship through policy measures could be a powerful source of economic growth and development in the country. These views were expressed in a meeting between Mrs. Parvin M. Khan, Regional Head, Women Entrepreneurship Development North, First Women Bank Ltd and Zafar Bakhtawari, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry.  
 
Mrs. Parvin M. Khan visited Chamber House to explore the possibilities of collaboration between ICCI and First Women Bank Ltd for the economic empowerment of women. Both organizations discussed to work jointly and identify areas for providing trainings to women for their capacity building and skills enhancement. 
 
She said FWBL is committed to women’s economic empowerment through its Capacity Building & Skills Development programs. We offer women trainings in the areas of entrepreneurship, beauty and computer skills. So far, 3 such programs have been completed in which 60 women were trained and FWBL would continue to train women to build their capacity for self-employment in various sectors. 

Speaking at the occasion, Zafar Bakhtawari, President ICCI said that sustainable economic development requires the maximum participation of women in business and economic activities as their engagement would contribute significantly to poverty reduction and financial independence of people. He said Pakistani women have great potential to excel in every field but due to lack of financing & trainings opportunities, their talent remains untapped. He stressed that government should make policies for the effective promotion of women’s entrepreneurship that would change the face of our economic development. 
 
Zafar Bakhtawari said women’s economic empowerment could play a crucial role in the socio-economic uplift of Pakistan and government should focus on removing all barriers which impede their full participation in the national economy. He said First Women Bank should provide easy credit facility to aspiring women entrepreneurs as lack of access to finance is a major hurdle in their entrepreneurship pursuits. 
 
He said ICCI has already taken many initiatives for development of youth and women entrepreneurs and would continue to work closely with other institutions including FWBL for the economic independence of women.