RAWALPINDI - Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) President Raja Amer Iqbal has said that Pakistani women have started playing a larger role in Pakistan’s export sectors than ever before, but still there is a dire need to make trade policy a gender-friendly.

While addressing the closing session of Women Leadership Development Programme (WLDP) being organised by RCCI in collaboration with USAID, Pakistan Regional Economic Integration Activity (PREIA), he said the government must take a number of gender sensitive actions to enhance the positive contribution of Pakistani women in international trade, such as special incentives to encourage women in export-oriented service sector.

Iqbal stressed for designing cultural industries, skill development programmes in women-intensive export sectors and access to credit for women-managed SMEs in export sectors. The participation of women in international exhibitions and delegations must be increased, he demanded.

The trade policies affect men and women differently, as more often than not women are constrained by structural gender inequalities such as low skill level, weak ability to negotiate wages or work conditions, he added. Earlier, PREIA Senior Adviser Mujeeb Ahmad Khan said that Textile sector comprised more than 65 percent of total exports. Women entrepreneurs have been encouraged to come forward and take lead in garments, bed sheets and bridal dresses.

 

“We have a good repute on bridal side, and globally fashion industry is growing,” he added.