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Call to end discrimination against women at workplaces

30 January, 2013

KARACHI: The International Women Leaders Summit,' was held here at a local hotel as part of the 5th Women in Business Conference Series (WIBCON) for professional women on Tuesday.

A large number of women from different sectors including prominent and notable personalities attended the conference.

Keynote speaker of the event, Dean and Director of Institute of Business Administration (IBA), Dr Ishrat Husain expressed his views on 'Role of Women in Reviving the Economy.'

He underlined the importance of promoting gender diversity in the workplace and acknowledged the growing economic contributions of Pakistani working women.

He said, "Women participation in leading designations in corporate sector is very less, which is not only an issue of Pakistan but a global one." Women participation in boards of directors of US was less than 15%, he said.

Husain further asserted that investment in women education was admirable one than in other sectors. He said that women perform better than men as they seemed more committed and hardworking in vocation. "The dilemma of the country is people run behind degrees instead of attaining knowledge," he added.

He said he had witnessed women of developed countries, who work during night shifts as well, which ultimately give positive impact on countries economic growth. Husain urged women to go for education so that they could serve their country as well as home. "Without bringing women in corporate sector we cannot go anywhere," he concludes.

Another keynote speaker of the event, Nasra Hassan, a former Director of United Nations Information Service from Austria delivered lecture on 'Women and Public Place'.

In her address, she shared the challenges of working in difficult locations like Kosovo, Palestine and Lebanon in extreme conflict zones and highlighted the steps needed to empower women.

Melanne Verveer, US Ambassador-at-large for Global Women Issues encouraged the participants through a video message to convert challenges to opportunities and continue efforts for success by sharing gained experiences with fellow colleagues to initiate growth within their communities.

Meanwhile, a panel discussion was also held titled 'Promoting Gender Diversity,' which was moderated by the renowned anchor person and prominent personality Ayesha Tammy Haq, whereas, Dr Ishrat Husain, President OICCI Asif Jooma, GM Pepsico Pakistan & Afghanistan Jahanzeb Qayyum and MD GSK Salman Burney were the panelist.

In the panel discussion, speakers said corporate sector without women could not connect with their female consumers. They said that women were now proving themselves and now in many companies they were performing a leading role.

They added, "It is global phenomena that women percentage is very less in representing corporate on valuable designation as compare to men but things are getting change gradually."

They said that they found women more devoted than men with work.

They expressed that educated woman could give bright future to society and country by properly nurturing their children.

Former fashion model Bibi Russell from Bangladesh shared how the fashion business could go from 'rural to runway'. Bibi detailed how village crafts could gain better access to markets locally as well as abroad.

Yildiz Yazicioglu from Turkey spoke on 'glass ceilings in Turkey: Lessons Learnt' while Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy talked of 'post Oscar experiences across the World.' Another panel dissuasion was also held, moderated by Ayesha Tammy Haq, whereas, Bibi Russell, Maheen Khan, Rizwan Beyg and Frieha Altaf were the panelists. The panel discussion talked on 'Fashion and Social Responsibility.'

Earlier, Yasmin Hyder, Aamir Niazi, President, Pakistan Society for Training and Development stated that the International Women Leaders Summit was being held under the WIBCON initiated four years ago. He expressed that the vision for this conference was to make women draw inspiration from global and Pakistani leaders and overcome the stereotypical barriers, which restrict their growth and success.


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