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Growing gender inequality disturbing society: Zakia Hashmi

Growing gender inequality disturbing society: Zakia Hashmi

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IWCCI) said that share of women in poverty is rising in Pakistan as compared to men which needed immediate attention of authorities.

Many countries have been ignoring poor in their struggle for improved economic growth which has triggered poverty with affecting the women most, said Dr. Zakia Hashmi, President IWCCI.

In a statement, she said that our government should revisit some policies for the welfare of poor and reduce growing inequality which is disturbing the society.

Dr. Zakia Hashmi said that there are 1.5 billion poor in Asia in which 660 million are very poor and majority of world’s poor lives in SAARC region. Human Development Index says that 60.3pc of Pakistanis live on $2 per day while UNESCO says 71pc of eligible girls did not attend secondary school, she added.

She said that reasons behind poverty among women are cold attitude of policymakers, gender inequality, lack of education, absence of credit facilities, and apathy towards SMEs etc.

Women on average get 40 per cent less salary in the SAARC region than their male colleagues while 80 per cent of the children who dropped out of school in China were girls, she said.

Hashmi asked the government to focus on health, education, technical skills, infrastructure development, and facilitate cross-border trade to ensure additional benefits worth billions of dollars annually.

Civil society and business community can play a partial role in reducing poverty as it is the government which can fine-tune policies to reduce gap between rich and poor, she said.

If women are to progress and participate effectively in the economy, they must receive equal education, equal training, equal dignity and income. Pakistan cannot achieve progress if over half its population is ignored, the IWCCI president said.