SIALKOT

Seventeen chief executive officers of different companies signed ‘CEO Statement of Support for the Women’s Empowerment Principles’ during an event.

It was organised by the United Nations Entity for Gender equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) and Baidarie, a non-government organisation.

The Women’s Empowerment Principles is a partnership initiative of UN Women and the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC). It provides a set of considerations to help the private sector focus on key elements integral to promoting gender equality in the workplace, marketplace and community, through policy and action.

The launching ceremony, hosted by the Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industries, comes as part of UN Women’s partnership initiatives aimed at encouraging high-level leadership to promote gender diversity and inclusive work force within the corporate sector.

The CEOs by signing the statement on behalf of 11,000 employees where 18 percent are women, acknowledge that equal treatment of women and men is not just the right thing to do - it is also good for business. By signing the seven steps of the Women’s Empowerment Principles, they take on a global approach to four key areas: promoting economic development through female entrepreneurship, championing gender diversity in business and corporate level, public-private partnerships for advancing women’s economic opportunities and providing potential business and investment opportunities through supplier diversity and marketing practices.

The private sector champions of Sialkot were identified through a series of consultations by UN Women and Baidarie. They are: Anwar Khawaja Industries, Awan Sports Unit 2 and 5, Box Ring, Capital Nexus, Capital Sports Corp., Forward Gear, Forward Sports, Kampala Industries, KM Ashraf and Sons, Mansha and Brothers Sports, Penna Overseas Corp., Starpak Martial Aarts, Talon Apparel, Talon Soccer, Talon Sports and Vision Technologies Corp.

Ms Bismillah, a home based worker, after hearing the news that her organisation has adopted the Women’s Empowerment Principles, voiced her delight: “If there will be more than 30 percent women employees then our strength will be reinforced and we can raise our voice for our rights.”

Speaking in support of his female colleagues and the seven Principles, Muhammad Majeed, a factory worker, said: “If working women’s skills and wages are recognised, their socio-economic condition will improve. Some female colleagues have no access to social security benefits such as health insurance and old age benefits. If these are rightfully provided to them I am sure motivation and outputs will increase. If the seven Principles are introduced I am sure the socio-economic condition of both men and women will become much better.”

Jamshed Kazi, country representative of UN Women, congratulated the seventeen CEOs on signing the Statement of Support for the Women’s Empowerment Principles. “This enthusiasm gives great hope for the future of Pakistan and especially for the important role reserved for women within the process towards gender equality and the empowerment of women.

This ceremony, came  as part of UN Women’s partnership initiatives aimed at encouraging high-level leadership to promote gender diversity and inclusive work force within the corporate sector. Dr Maryam Nouman, CEO of Capital Nexus, speaking at the launching ceremony shared her contribution in empowering local women.