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Islamabad- March 9, 2023: UN Women with the Royal Norwegian Embassy organized a conference on “Strengthening Women’s Economic Empowerment to Accelerate SDGs.” The conference focused on sharing best practices, discussed innovative solutions, and explored new opportunities for strengthening Women’s Economic Empowerment (WEE).
UN Women’s Country Representative Sharmeela Rassool in her opening remarks welcomed the distinguished participants and highlighted women’s economic empowerment through micro-enterprises can be a powerful tool for promoting gender equality, reducing poverty, and achieving sustainable economic development. She emphasized said, “ Women’s economic empowerment through micro-enterprises can only be effective strategy, if we provide women with adequate support and resources. This may include access to training, business development services, and financial services, such as micro-credit, savings, and insurance.”
In her keynote address, Dr. Noor Khan, Deputy Ambassador to the Royal Norwegian Embassy endorsed the support to Pakistan in promoting women’s economic empowerment and said, “There are many ways to promote women’s economic empowerment, such as providing access to education and training, facilitating access to credit and financial services, and promoting equal pay and opportunities for women in the workplace. The Royal Norwegian Embassy taking an active role in supporting this cause in Pakistan.”
The conference featured keynote speeches and panel discussions with leading experts and practitioners in the field of women’s economic empowerment. Topics of discussion will include the role of technology and digital innovation in promoting women’s economic empowerment, increasing access to finance and markets for women entrepreneurs, and best practices that promote women’s economic empowerment.
The conference also showcased the products made by home-based workers and concluded with the fashion show where foreign dignities wore clothes made by home-made workers.
The conference was organized under Women’s Economic Empowerment (WEE) Project supported by Royal Norwegian Embassy. It is implementing three years (2021-2024) in the selected ten districts of Punjab, Sindh, Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Gilgit Baltistan namely, Lahore, Sialkot, Multan, Karachi, Sukkur, Khairpur, Quetta, Swabi, Khyber and Gilgit.
The overarching objective of this WEE project is that tangible interventions be made for the development of presentable, replicable, and up scalable model of pulling out the women workers out of the state of “vulnerability to abject poverty”, “socioeconomic dependence” and exploitative working conditions in the districts by enabling them to have greater and gender responsive access to the spaces and resource to improve their incomes and subsequently the living conditions.