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British Home Secretary meets senior Pakistani women business leaders

Islamabad: Theresa May who is also the UK’s minister for Women and Equalities, held a dinner today, 25 November, at Fatima Jinnah Women’s university with senior women business leaders.

Speaking of the importance of the role of women and the economy the Home Secretary said:

“Numerous studies and world institutions have confirmed that in building a competitive economy for the future there is no more powerful tool than educating and empowering women and girls.

Wherever we look around the world, we find women to be amongst the most resourceful, and most committed to new ways to improve their lives and the lives of their families and communities.

But as we know, the discrimination and inequality they face remains rampant. To most governments and to many businesses they are an untapped resource.

Research demonstrates that investments in women also positively correlate with the general prosperity of nations. Women-run small and medium-size enterprises are proven drivers of GDP, and when women are able to access the tools that they need, from skills training to education to market access, property rights, technology and credit, they can make an enormous difference. Women are a safe and reliable investment, because the money that they borrow is not only likely to be repaid, it is also used for the benefit of their families.

Studies show that investing in the health and education of women and girls improves the lives of families and establishes safer and more prosperous communities.

It is clear that women and girls are fundamental to making progress in these areas. Successful countries and economies are built by using the skills and talents of all their citizens, not just half of them.

In recent years Pakistan has made great progress to advance women’s empowerment. But there is much still to do to allow all women to achieve their full potential.

We have estimated that in the UK better use of women’s skills could be worth £15 to £23 billion each year – And if women were setting up new businesses at the same rate as men we would have 150,000 more companies in the UK.

So we are taking steps to ensure that women can reach their full potential and contribute to the success of our economy. We are encouraging successful businesses to help other businesses become more successful.

And that could be the same in Pakistan.”

For more information, contact:
George Sherriff
Press Attaché
Sarah Cowley
Head of Press and Public Affairs
British High Commission
Islamabad
Tel: +9251 201 2000
Cell: +92300 500 5306
Website: http://ukinpakistan.fco.gov.uk

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