Invest in South Asian Women: A Path towards Regional Progress

March 7, 2024, Lahore, Pakistan

SCCI organized the International Women’s Business Conference themed “Invest in South Asian Women: A Path towards Regional Progress” in partnership with Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom (FNF) to celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8, 2024, in Pearl Continental Hotel.

The conference was a testament to the shared vision of advancing women’s roles in the economic and social spheres, setting a precedent for future initiatives in the region. Ms. Hina Pervaiz Butt, a member of the Provisional Assembly, was honored as the Chief Guest of the conference.

During her address at the inaugural session, Hon’ble Ms. Hina Pervez Butt underscored her commitment to advancing women’s empowerment in South Asia. She emphasized the significance of collaborative efforts and shared commitment, envisioning a future where the economic contributions of South Asian women are duly acknowledged. “Let us unite in our journey toward regional progress, recognizing that empowering women is not merely an agenda but a fundamental necessity for the holistic development of our society”, said Ms. Hina Pervez Butt.

Ms. Hina Pervez Butt, Member National Assemble, Punjab addressing the august gathering on the occasion of International Women’s Day Conference

Prior to Chief Guest, Mr. Shafquat Haider, Vice president, SCCI (Bangladesh) said that Women entrepreneurs are key drivers of economic growth, job creation, and poverty reduction, yet they face numerous challenges and barriers. By investing in women’s entrepreneurship, we can unlock their potential to drive sustainable development in our South Asian communities and economies.

Address by Mr. Shafquat Haider, Vice President, SCCI (Pakistan) at the International Women’s Business Conference.

In his address, Mian Anjum Nisar, Vice President, SCCI (Pakistan), commended the collaborative efforts of SCCI and SCWEC in uniting women entrepreneurs from across South Asia. He emphasized that improved regional connectivity will enable these entrepreneurs to reach out to new markets and prospects, thereby fostering economic growth and development throughout the region.

Ms. Hina Mansab Khan Chairperson of SCWEC in her inaugural address said that Pakistan is more broadly on integrating women more fully into the country’s political and economic life. She said that the recent election of Ms. Maryam Nawaz as the Chief Minister of Punjab would pave the way for increased gender equality in Pakistan. Ms. Hina expressed optimism that Ms. Nawaz’s leadership would bring about substantial developments in social, economic, and political spheres for women.

Address by Ms. Hina Mansab Khan Chairperson of SCWEC at the International Women’s Business Conference.

The conference comprised two sessions including “Empowering Women Entrepreneurs: Overcoming Barriers and Fostering Collaboration for Regional Progress” and “Sustainable Entrepreneurship: Women Driving Environmental and Social Impact in the Digital Age” chaired by prominent mentors, Ms. Dure Shawar, Secretary General, National Business Women Council and Ms. Zubia Zubair, Former Vice Chair SCWEC.

The speakers included Ms. Minny Sandhu, Fashion Designer from India, Ms. Ms. Saboohi Hussain, President, Rawalpindi Women Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Ms. Samia Zahid Aslam, Chairperson, All Pakistan Women’s Association Punjab, Ambreen Zaman, Economic Empowerment Specialist and Member National Women Business Council, Ms. Farida Qureshi, Founder President, Woman Chamber of Commerce and Industry South Karachi, Ms. Shaira Saleem, Vice Chair SCWEC (Maldives), Ms. Sathi Bilkis Yasmin, Director, G.K Adjusters Ltd. Bangladesh, and Ms. Ayesha Nurain Jannah, Chairperson, Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation. The speakers from South Asian countries, including Bangladesh, India, Maldives, and Pakistan, contributed their invaluable perspectives and experiences during the conference, enhancing the dialogue on women’s empowerment and regional advancement.

The conference highlighted the imperative for empowering women entrepreneurs in South Asia, focusing on overcoming barriers and leveraging collaboration for regional progress.