ISLAMABAD – Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) in collaboration with Aurat Foundation launched a project titled “Enhancing Women Economic Empowerment through Skills Development and Capacity Building”.

The programme is a USAID funded project under its Gender Equity Program. ICCI would undertake many initiatives under this project to promote women entrepreneurship in the region.

Addressing the launching ceremony, Khalid Iqbal Malik, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry said that the project would go a long way in enhancing the economic empowerment of women through their skills enhancement and capacity building. He said that women were half the total population and bringing them into the mainstream of business activities was vital for the sustainable economic growth of the country.

He said that ICCI has already taken many initiatives for women entrepreneurs including establishment a Women Business Growth Centre in collaboration with UNIDO Pakistan and assured that ICCI would continue to work for the economic empowerment of women so that they could play an effective role in the development of the country.

Under the project, ICCI would organise training programs for capacity building of women and equip them with the required skills in the fields of marketing and quality control geared towards product improvement. ICCI would help women entrepreneurs in establishing and expanding business ventures and integrating them into the mainstream of business field. A web portal for women entrepreneurs would be set up on the ICCI website.

Speaking at the occasion, Mahpara Shakil Ghori and Abdul Raheem Khan of Aurat Foundation highlighted the initiatives of their organisation for a just, democratic and caring society in Pakistan where women and men were recognised as equals and lead their lives with self-respect and dignity.

They said over the last three decades, Aurat Foundation had been recognised nationally and internationally as one of the leading institutions for creating and strengthening civil society groups and networks for promoting collaboration among citizens to mobilise public pressure for women’s empowerment in the country.