Women conference at LCCI

LAHORE (Staff Reporter): Women should be brought into mainstream of economic activities and government should form favorable policies. This was stated by the LCCI President Malik Tahir Javaid while speaking at Women Conference for women entrepreneurs organized by the LCCI Standing Committee on WEDRC here at a local hotel.  Tahir said that women in Pakistan constitute more than half of total population but their creative abilities are in isolation due to a number of reasons.  He said that women entrepreneurs should be provided same regulatory and institutional framework as their male counterparts have so that they could enjoy a free market mechanism. He said that business environment for women entrepreneurs inPakistan are still not as comfortable as it should be. Malik Tahir Javaid said that in recent years government has been focusing more on the development of women entrepreneurs in the country but due attention is required and factors are needed to dig out that limit women entrepreneurs access to the necessities and active participation in the economic activities.

He said that the products prepared by women entrepreneurs should be allowed concession in taxes. They urged the government to come up with a more comprehensive package for the women entrepreneurs.

France to ‘name and shame’ companies paying women less

PARIS (AFP): French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday marked International Women's Day with a pledge to "name and shame" companies that pay women less than men for the same work. On a visit to a Paris-based property management firm hailed as a model of gender equality, he announced plans to "drastically" increase inspections of companies to ensure they complied with a law requiring equal pay for equal work. "We will put in place a 'name and shame' system to make public (the names of) companies that least respect the law," said Macron, who has made tackling sexism a key priority. "No one wants to be bottom of the class on this issue," he said. The World Economic Forum last year ranked France 11th out of 144 countries for gender equality but a dismal 129th for wage equality for similar work. On Wednesday, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced plans to get tough on companies that pay women less.

Under a package of workplace reforms to be finalised next month, wage screening software will be rolled out in all companies with more than 250 employees from 2019, and in all companies with over 50 employees by 2022, Philippe said.

Companies found to have "unjustified" disparities will have three years to rectify the situation or face fines of up to 1 percent of their wage bill, Philippe said.

Sexism and violence against women -- brought into sharp relief by the #Metoo campaign launched after the Harvey Weinstein scandal -- dominated the headlines in France on Thursday.

Male readers of leftwing daily Liberation were asked to pay 25 percent more for their paper for the day, the proportion by which French women are underpaid compared to men, according to official statistics.

For the same job, women are paid on average nine percent less.

Liberation published two editions Thursday with different cover pages, one marked "for women, 2 euros, normal price" with a symbol of a woman, the other marked "for men, 2.50 euros" with a symbol of a man.

The paper said it was inspired by Canadian monthly Maclean's, which charged men more for its March edition to denounce the gender wage gap.

But not everyone was on board with the operation.

A vendor at a newsstand in central Paris told AFP he had sold only one copy of the paper -- a "female" version he sold to a regular male customer who plucked it off the stand and pressed the standard 2 euros in his hand.

WB warns US to be 'careful' on tariffs

BRUSSELS (AFP): The chief executive of the World Bank urged US President Donald Trump on Thursday to be "careful" before imposing controversial steel and aluminium tariffs, warning that they could affect global trade. Kristalina Georgieva said Trump should "assess the implications" before going ahead with a plan that has sparked fears of a trade war with China and Europe and spooked world markets. The Bulgarian former EU commissioner said that her message to Trump, who is expected to sign off on the tariffs later Wednesday, was to make a "careful assessment before taking any further step". "If you take a step for a reason then you need to project on a couple of steps for the implications," Georgieva told a small group of media outlets including AFP in Brussels. "Assess what are the implications and then advise about these implications." The EU has vowed to retaliate against the tariffs with its own measures targeting not only US steel but also products such as bourbon whiskey, jeans, motorcycles, orange juice and cranberries.

Georgieva, whose organisation specialises in lending money to poor countries, added that Trump should take a "carefully calibrated approach to what happens in world trade".

"When trade shrinks it has implications for the poorest populations in rich countries. The goods are more expensive and poor people spend more of their money buying these goods," she said.

Trump himself appeared to hint at carve-outs on Thursday, vowing that the tariffs which he says are aimed at saving the US steel industry and cutting its deficit would show "great flexibility" to "real friends."

European Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen said during the same interview that Trump's actions risked causing a shock to the global economy.

"There are no winners in this trade war," he said.

"The rest of the world must adapt to the situation and try to influence the US administration's behaviour."

FAO to modernise agri extension services

ISLAMABAD (APP): Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in collaboration with International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) organized a two-day consultative workshop on improving the agriculture extension services in Pakistan here on Thursday. The workshop reviewed the existing agriculture extension services, mechanisms and approaches adopted by the provincial agriculture departments and other institutions and organizations in order to identify ways to improve the agriculture extension services. Speaking at the opening session of the stakeholders' workshop , Secretary Ministry of National Food Security and Research Fazal Abbas Maken emphasized that agricultural research needs to be directed towards finding ways to meet the demands of our farmers. "Building resilience of our communities to climate change is important in this connection," he said.  Welcoming participants to the workshop,  Mina' Dowlatchahi, FAO Representative in Pakistan said that in order to reach those who can transform the agriculture sector.

, it is essential to modernize the agri-extension services by adopting a multi-sectoral integrated approach to knowledge and systems through use of Information and Communication Technologies and other sustainable agriculture practices.