New Delhi: Prominent leaders from India and Pakistan on Sunday called for concrete steps to empower women in South Asia by enabling them to assert their economic independence through entrepreneurship as a means of eradicating poverty, illiteracy, disease and crime.
Providing women with networking platforms is essential in the current globalised world, said Member of Parliament Najma Heptullah at a seminar organised by industry chamber Assocham here.
The seminar, titled, 'Fostering Women Entrepreneurship - The Way Forward for South Asia', was organised ahead of the visit of an Assocham delegation of business leaders to Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore and Rawalpindi from January 9 to 14, 2012.
Expressing her views, Pakistan Minister of Social Welfare Nargis Khan said women can play an important role in developing societies and nations.
"The country is exploring new channels to promote entrepreneurship with micro loans. Pakistani women are more empowered now after a prolonged dictatorship in a male-dominated society," Khan said.
Speaking at the seminar, Creative Living Organisation Founder and Chief Executive Officer Harbeen Arora said the formation of women associations and support groups should be encouraged to provide them bandwidth for both critical thinking and also critical mass.
"There is need more than ever for having more examples of successful entrepreneurship by women and inspiring role models," she said.
Qadim Moosarat, the Executive Director of the Paiman Trust in Pakistan, said space for women in economic and political spheres is essential for equitable development and peace in South Asia.
National Youth Congress leader Alka Lamba said both countries have many commonalities and traditional linkages.
Indian and Pakistani business leaders should pursue their entrepreneurial ambition by forging economic partnerships with the neighbouring nation to promote core values of unity and peace, she said.
First Published: Sunday, December 18, 2011, 17:10