LAHORE - The national economy is experiencing a significant loss because of low participation of women in the economy, making the females heavily dependent on their families.

This was stated by participants of a seminar on ‘Celebrating the entrepreneurial spirit’, organised by the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP).

On the occasion, leading businesswomen delivered speeches, followed by interactive sessions with girl students from many universities.

Ms Nudrat Hussain Khan, Deputy Director and Incharge Women Entrepreneurship Development Project, TDAP made the inaugural speech. The seminar was also addressed by Ms Roshaneh Zafar, Ms Seema Aziz, Ms Andaleeb Abbas, representatives of Pak Customs and SBP as well and young entrepreneurs and fashion designers.

The speakers pointed out that because of low participation of women in the economy, there were minimum opportunities for them. They said majority of the women were not part of the financial sector, making it unlikely for them to secure loans from financial institutions.

Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry Vice Chairman Qaisera Sheikh, while commenting on the seminar, appreciated the efforts of the TDAP, however said that event was not especially focusing the issues of business women, as only 17 per cent of the labour force comprised women compared to 83 for men. Moreover, women earned 70 per cent less than that earned by men for equal work. This came despite women having a larger share of 51.23 per cent in the population against 48.77 per cent for men, she added.

Highlighting the limited health facilities for women, Qaisera Sheikh stressed that women had a very low health status with high mortality rates. She said that literacy rate for women was substantially lower at 39 per cent compared to 63 per cent for men, which also kept low women’s contribution to the national economy. She said that young entrepreneurs can play a positive role as ambassadors of goodwill on international forum.