TDAP empowering women through crafts

KARACHI: Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) has planned to empower women by promoting their crafts which will help entrepreneurs in a great way, a business leader said Wednesday.

SM Muneer, CEO TDAP, has decided to send a group of women artisans linked to IWCCI to Australia where they would participate in expos and explore opportunities, said Samina Fazil, founder President, Islamabad Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IWCCI).

Speaking to members of the chamber, she said that enhancing economic opportunities for women is a noble cause while the gesture of TDAP is highly laudable. Despite their impressive artisan skills, Pakistani women struggled to engage with global handicraft markets which was not possible except patronage, she added.

She said that promotion of female labour-based industries can supplement household income of women and change their poverty profile. Women are ideally suited to the production of traditional handicrafts because of their high value addition and demand the world over, said Samina, adding that women entrepreneurs can work at their own pace without disturbing their traditional role.

She called upon the government to take more steps for the revival of traditional handicrafts to empower women, boost economic growth and eliminate child labour. Speaking on the occasion, former VP FPCCI, Naima Ansari, said that women’s awareness and access to micro-credit facilities play an essential role in enterprise development which is not at satisfactory level.

She said the provision of financial services was instrumental in the establishment of a handicrafts value chain, but despite efforts, the outreach to rural women was extremely limited. Societies that discriminate on the basis of gender are characterized by a higher incidence of poverty, lower standard of living and slow economic growth, she added.

Poverty of opportunity, restricted access to labour market and stringent gender-specific roles have hampered women’s participation in the economic activities which has barred national development.

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