ISLAMABAD -  Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) Senior Vice President Khalid Malik said that women were 51 percent of Pakistan’s total population and it was essential to focus on their economic empowerment to achieve sustainable economic growth of the country.

He expressed these remarks while addressing a 30-member delegation of women, which was led by Ideas for Life Trust (IFLT) Director Sadaf Raza. The women were representing various fields including entrepreneurs, teachers and counsellors and were being trained as leaders and entrepreneurs at IFLT.

On the occasion, Malik said that advanced countries have achieved rapid economic growth by providing equal opportunities to women and stressed that the government should create avenues to bring women in the mainstream of economy so that they could play more effective role in the development of the country. He apprised the delegation about the initiatives of the ICCI focused on the promotion of women entrepreneurs. He said ICCI has established a Women Growth Centre to provide guidance and facilitation to aspiring women entrepreneurs in business startups.

ICCI Vice President Tahir Ayub said that women have a promising career in business field as by becoming entrepreneurs they could not only achieve economic independence but they could also provide jobs to others.

Meanwhile, IFLT Director Sadaf Raza said that IFLT was a not-for-profit organisation that offered its resource and expertise to multi-sectoral organisations in the fields of training, capacity building, resource mobilising, management, monitoring and evaluation, communication, advocacy and public policy research. She said IFLT was working in the core areas of education rights, women empowerment, youth emancipation, and communication for development.

She said that for women empowerment, IFLT was providing training to women so that they could play role of leaders and entrepreneurs in society and contribute effectively towards the national building. She said the purpose of taking them to different organisations was to expose them to various working environments and create networking opportunities for them. She said IFLT has already trained a batch of 25 women while another batch of 25 women was currently under training.

The women asked various questions about the role and activities of ICCI and showed keen interest in becoming entrepreneurs.