By Aman Hashmi
Empowering women to participate fully in economic life across all sectors is essential for building stronger economies, achieve internationally agreed goals for development, sustainability, and, improve the quality of life for everyone including women, men, families and communities. This is needed so that they can play their significant role in the society!
Gender equality means recognizing that men and women often have different needs and constraints and therefore often have differing value to contribute to social and economic development. Traditionally the women in Pakistan have been an ignored section of the society.
However, looking at the bright side, as the new generation proceeds to eliminate some engaging issues, women empowerment is getting more and more real and as it seems, it is here to stay. Because, women are not the edge of reason, they are the reason itself. They are beginning to raise their voices against the mistreatment which was meted out to them. An example is Leslee Udwin who had the nerve to valiantly admit on a public platform of having been raped, and to unflinchingly protest for her brilliantly documented film called India’s Daughter, where she showcases that the true evil in a rape case is not the rapist, but the society itself which demeans the rape victim beyond revival.
Techno Serve draws upon gender aware research and hands-on field experience to design projects which understand and takes into account these differences. These projects seek to enable the full and unencumbered participation of both women and men to drive inclusive economic growth. Additionally Pakistan is one of the few countries where women have a fixed number of seats in legislative assemblies, which provide them with a due right to participate in the law making process of country. So many remarkable women have contributed to our history, and they deserve statues, too. In August, we acknowledged Women’s Equality Day which highlighted the addition of the 19th amendment to the Constitution, giving women the right the vote. While this was one major step towards gender equality, there’s still progress to be made. Alongside the women we all learn about in history books such as Fatima Jinnah, Benazir Bhutto and many others. There are so many forgotten women who need to be celebrated as beacons of Pakistan progress.
Fiza Farhan is definitely one of the women who should be celebrated as playing an outstanding role in the society. She is a Pakistani entrepreneur in power sector who is working for promotion of Green Energy in the country. She is the CEO of Buksh Foundation and director of Buksh Energy. She has been honored by Forbes magazine by listing her name in the ‘30 under 30’ for Social Entrepreneurship in 2015. She has also been appointed as a member of the United Nations body, dedicated to the economic empowerment of women. She was elected as a member of the first ever High-Level Panel of the UN Secretary-General on Women’s Economic Empowerment.
Education is essential requirement for development of any society. This is altruism which has been proven over and over again. The holy Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) while stressing on importance of education said that:
“Getting education is mandatory for men and women alike”,
“When a man gets educated, only the man learns. When a women gets educated the entire generation learns”
Frequently the question is asked as to why the women empowerment is needed?
An apt answer is that because they are humans same as men, no less no more and they deserve to enjoy the same rights, the same burdens as men. Secondly, because time and again women have proved that if given a fair chance, they have a lot to contribute to this world. The world needs these bright minds.
As a member of the panel, Fiza will join leaders of World Bank Group, International Monetary Fund, UN Women as well as several other eminent gender and equality actors. She will also establish connection with economics experts, academics, trade union leaders, businesses and government representatives from across the world. On a positive note, in the recent years women empowerment is on the rise in Pakistan, and the trend is expected to grow.