IBA-CED collaborates with Oxfam to acknowledge women's contribution in society

The IBA Center for Entrepreneurial Development (CED), in collaboration with Oxfam in Pakistan, celebrated International Women's Day on March 9, 2021. The objective of this event was to acknowledge the contribution of women in our society. Executive Director IBA, Dr. S Akbar Zaidi, graced the event as the Chief Guest and Project Manager, Mr. Azeem Faisal, represented Oxfam as Guest of Honor.

More than 200 women participated from the Government Vocational and Technical Institute for Women. Other guests included entrepreneurs, women representatives from the civil society and staff members from the IBA Karachi. Dr. Zaidi addressed the audience and appreciated the role of women in each household including their whole-hearted support in helping men excel in their careers. He thanked the Oxfam in Pakistan for collaborating with the IBA for various initiatives and ensured IBA's support for more avenues of collaboration.

As part of the celebrations, an awareness session on Down Syndrome was also held. Assistant Professor, Iqra University, Dr. Iffet Sultana, shared a story of her daughter Syeda Alishba Amin-ud-Din, who is affected by Down Syndrome. Despite the challenges, Dr. Iffet has helped Alishba to shine, refining her artistic abilities and helping her become a contributing member of society.

Program Director CED, Dr. Shahid Qureshi, in his address, highlighted the role that IBA-CED played in promoting women entrepreneurship through various programs. In response, Mr. Azeem Faisal paid tribute to the IBA-CED for tirelessly working for women-inclusion in the workplace. He emphasized that Oxfam was working in Pakistan since the 1970's and that their programs focused on women empowerment through various initiatives with local partners. Principal, Government Vocational and Technical Institute for Women, Buffer Zone, Ms. Nahid Nasir, spoke at length about the role of her institution in developing skills in young girls to make them economically independent.

In the ensuing panel discussion that followed the various addresses, the success stories of 10 women entrepreneurs were highlighted. The challenges they faced and overcame, the successes that followed and the level of perseverance and dedication provided a road map to all to wished to pursue their dreams.