Youth Affairs

Govt improving market connectivity for female entrepreneurs to enhance economic empowerment, Shazia Fatima

Islamabad : The Special Assistant of the Prime Minister on Youth Affairs, Ms Shaza Fatima, chaired a session on women’s economic empowerment and financial inclusion organised by the British High Commission’s Revenue Mobilisation, Investment and Trade (REMIT) programme. This was a part of REMIT’s “Economy for All” initiative that works towards mainstreaming gender in key economic reform work.

The session included presentations from State Bank of Pakistan, SMEDA and Board of Investment with participation from the private and development sector including Jazz, USF, FPCCI, COPAIR, GIZ, ADB, FBR, MG Apparel, Katalyst Labs and provincial Chambers.

The SAPM, Ms Shaza Fatima, emphasised the importance of women’s economic empowerment and financial inclusion, expressed gratitude to REMIT, FCDO, development partners, and the private sector for convening the session, and highlighted the need for a multi-pronged approach to address gaps. The SAPM highlighted several government initiatives supported by REMIT, including the solarisation of tube wells and the national youth employment policy. She also mentioned the business youth loan program but noted that only 7% of female entrepreneurs had availed themselves of loans under the program, indicating a need for further initiatives. She emphaslsized on the need of building soft skills for women, providing digital devices such as laptops, establishing digital youth hubs for skills mapping, and improving market connectivity for female entrepreneurs to enhance their economic empowerment and financial inclusion. She said her office is open to partnerships.

The Additional Secretary Board of Investment, Ms Ambreen Iftikhar, said that the government is committed to the consolidation of efforts of all stakeholders to ensure that policies are communicated and implemented effectively.

Naghma e Tehniat from British High Commission said that commitment to women and girls empowerment is at the heart of the UK government’s efforts and the newly launched strategy focuses on partnerships for economic empowerment of women at all levels. She assured commitment through REMIT’s Economy for All group and also BHC funded programmes at the national and sub national levels.