Islamabad: Ms. Kashmala Tariq, Federal Ombudsman for Protection against Harassment at Workplace (FOSPAH) said that women don’t want seclusion from men, rather they want to perform shoulder-to-shoulder with men in every field, but they should be given respect, protection and acceptance.

She said that women should be provided equal opportunities in every field to make Pakistan a strong economy. She was speaking as Chief Guest at International Women’s Day organized by Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry. Ms. Aisha Mukhtar Country Representative UN Women, Ms. Aisha Moriani Joint Secretary WTO Ministry of Commerce, Ms. Shumaila Rifaqat Head of ICF & ME Karandaaz, Ms. Ayesha Ahmed CEO Pak-Agri Market, Ms. Amna Malik Convener ICCI Women Entrepreneurs Committee, women entrepreneurs, female university students and faculty members were present at the occasion.

Kashmala Tariq said that if any woman in public and private sector faced any kind of harassment at workplace, she should report online to FOSPAH and assured that she would get relief within 2 months. She said that every public and private organization should display FOSPAH code of conduct at prominent places in office and added that non-pliant entities would be fined up to Rs.100,000/-.

She said that women have also been provided inheritance rights through a new legislation and they could report to FOSPAH in case of violation of these rights and they would get justice in 2 months. She said that women were over 50 percent of population and they should be given 50 percent representation in governing boards and decision making bodies.

Speaking at the occasion, Muhammad Ahmed Waheed, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry said that women accounted for half of country’s total population and they needed a favorable ecosystem to play more effective role in the economic development of the country.

He said evidence from around the world showed that women empowerment led to better economic growth and urged that government should focus on policy reforms to create more conducive environment for women to bring them in the mainstream of economy. He said though Pakistani women have made their mark in every field, but they needed more opportunities to play enhanced role in development of country.

Saif ur Rehman Khan Vice President ICCI and Mian Akram Farid said that government should provide easy access to credit and special incentives to women startups in order to enable women entrepreneurs to flourish in the country. They said that women could be made more productive by focusing on their professional trainings and skills development.

At this occasion, women speakers spoke at various topics of women and stressed for their economic empowerment.