ISLAMABAD - The Islamabad Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IWCCI) on Sunday said governments across the world are ignoring poor in their unending struggle for better economic growth which has triggered poverty on massive scale. Pakistan government should revisit policies and consider establishing a new and powerful ministry for the welfare of chronic poor to reduce growing inequality, said Farida Rashid, President IWCCI.
Talking to business community, she said that there are 1.5 billion poor in Asia in which 660 million are very poor. Majority of world’s poor lives in Saarc region of which most are the women. She said that reason behind poverty among women are indifferent attitude of policymakers, gender inequality, lack of education and microcredit facilities, apathy towards SMEs and preference of politics over trade. Farida Rashid said that women on average get 40 per cent less salary in the Saarc region than their male counterparts while 80 per cent of the children who dropped out of school in China were girls.
She asked the Asian govts to focus on health, education, imparting technical skills, infrastructure development, revisit policies and facilitate cross-border trade to ensure additional benefits worth two trillion dollars annually.
Civil society and business community can play a limited role in reducing poverty as it is the government which can adjust fiscal policies to reduce gap between rich and poor, she said.
The IWCCI president said that government that are indifferent towards the plight of poor are running high risk of political unrest with a massive cost.