UN Women hosted a convention on CSR4Women – The Untapped Potential in Islamabad on September 21, 2021. The event was supported by the Government of Norway and chaired by Sima Kamil, the Deputy Governor of the State Bank of Pakistan. The convention brought together business leaders, CEOs of private companies, heads of Chambers of Commerce, “The nexus of corporate social responsibility and women’s economic empowerment presents four wins for the private sector, the state, women and for us as UN Women Pakistan. Through our collaborative efforts, we will achieve the vision of making Pakistan the 10th largest economy by 2047”, said Sharmeela Rassool, Country Representative of UN Women in her opening address. Sima Kamil, Deputy Governor, SBP, sharing a perspective in the keynote address said, ‘the financial sector also needs to realize its role as a key player in advancing regulatory policy and strategies towards promoting women’s access to finance and digital financial inclusion.’ She highlighted the need for introducing digital channels for lending by the financial institutions and capacity building of women for effectively accessing these tools.
UN Women Pakistan has worked with the private sector companies in Pakistan since 2015 through the application of Women’s Economic Empowerment Principles (WEPs). The WEPs are a set of gender-responsive principles offering guidance to businesses on how to promote gender equality and women’s economic empowerment in the workplaces and marketplaces. UN Women has mobilized a fast-growing community of WEP signatories in Pakistan, who are doing valuable and impactful work in this regard. Fareeha Ummar, Portfolio Manager, UN Women, in her call for action, underscored that private business activity, investment, and innovation through social responsibility are major drivers of inclusive economic growth and job creation. She called on the private sector to apply creativity and innovation through a partnership approach ‘towards ensuring income equality, gender equality, equity in access to health, education and social security.’