BISP is the prime platform of empowerment and financial inclusion for the downtrodden women of Pakistan. By providing financial assistance to 5.4 million deserving families and adopting state of the art technology and best international practices, BISP has emerged as a leading social safety net programme in the world within a short span of time. This was stated by Minister of State and Chairperson BISP MNA Marvi Memon while speaking as Chief Guest at the International Women’s Day Conference organized by Employers’ Federation of Pakistan (EFP) in collaboration with International Labour Organization (ILO).
The event was also attended by Finance Minister Punjab Ayesha Ghous, US Counsel General Grace Shelton, President EFP Majyd Aziz, Energy Consultant, Ms. Nida Fareed and CEO Tech Biz, Ms. Mehnaz. EFP is engaged in lobbying and advocacy in the area of employment and social sector. It holds events to recognize the best practices of companies and enterprises in the fields of health, safety, industrial relations, human resource management and women empowerment. It also confers EFP Awards to different organizations for excellence in women empowerment.
On the occasion, Ms. Marvi also said that the basic mandate of BISP is to provide financial assistance to its beneficiaries. Beside this BISP is working with different organizations, expanding its own role and assisting these organizations in the pursuit of their empowerment goals in various fields. She added that BISP is the custodian of National Socio-Economic Registry (NSER) and more than 50 organizations are benefitting from the multi-dimensional data of BISP. She invited all the relevant stakeholders and the organizations, working in the social sector and women empowerment initiatives, to come forward and get advantage of the rich data and vast experiences of BISP.
Explaining the role of BISP in empowering women, Chairperson BISP stated that millions of women got identity cards due to BISP, leading them to exercise their political and voting rights. BISP, treating women as the head of their families, increased their role in family decision making and 76% women retain control over BISP stipend. The control over BISP stipend and the use of ATMs for withdrawing money has resulted into the financial inclusion of the women belonging to the poorest of the poor segments of the society. It is the responsibility of empowered ones to support the weak and vulnerable. So, BISP beneficiaries deserve attention of the empowered circles.
US Counsel General Grace Shelton stated that employers need to be women friendly so as to improve productivity. The business environment needs to include all those tools like day care centers and equal pay packages for better output of employees. Punjab Finance Minister Ayesha Ghous stated that no society can make any transformation by leaving half of the population. Investing in women is good economic sense. Women empowerment packages of each province will break nexus between illiteracy and poverty as does the package in Punjab.
President EFP Majyd aziz said that women are key to progress of Pakistan. He praised Pakistani women as change makers in the society. He introduced two young lady entrepreneurs as speakers. One was leading women exporter of textile and the other was an aeronautical engineer and they spoke about their challenges in life.