ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety, Chairperson Benazir Income Support Program (BISP), Shazia Marri Thursday said the women empowerment and education through Digital literacy would revolutionise Pakistan’s economy and GDP at an unprecedented level.
The federal minister was speaking, as a chief guest, at the closing ceremony of national workshop to disseminate the results of ‘Internet Dost’ and ‘Internet Zabardast’ projects supported by google.org the philanthropic arm of Google, arranged by the National Rural Support Programme (NRSP). Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Finance, Mr. Tariq Bajwa, CEO, NRSP Dr. Rashid Bajwa, and Chairman NRSP, Shoaib Sultan Khan were also present on the occasion.
Addressing the ceremony, the minister said this is definitely a revolution that Pakistan needs through digital literacy and training on internet’s positive and constructive usage.
The federal minister after listening to the success stories of the two female beneficiaries of Internet Dost project said these two smart and talented women of Pakistan Aqsa Abbasi and Kaneez Fatima told us their success stories achieved through the initiative of Google and NRSP.
“You have changed the lives of your families and communities and I am thankful to you for coming here after facing all odds”, she said.
Shazia Marri also presented her example as a woman bringing change in her constituency by winning the National Assembly (NA) by-election through direct vote and brought a revolution against the prevailing old taboos and ill mindset. “I want to appreciate the world IT giant for its role as it has emerged as a household name in the world,” the minister said.
Appreciating the testimonials of the project beneficiaries, she said, “I am proud of the language of women in the testimonials which shows a visible change among them.”
She emphasised that the role of a father is crucial for building strong women to change societies. “We know to excel despite problems and challenges as the women in Pakistan face huge challenges and problems.” She requested NRSP and Google to have such ceremonies in the rural areas of project sites, so that the local masses could observe and learn from them. Shazia Marri mentioned that the Article 34 of the Constitution says, “The state will have to bring women in all strata of state.”
The IMF study claims that Pakistan GDP may rise to 33% if women workforce number is leveled with that of men. Moreover, the ILO study claims a GDP increase up to 9 percent amounting $139 billion if 25 percent women workforce was increased as par with men, she noted.
“Women equality will benefit country’s progress and women empowerment will lead to contribution in it’s GDP growth. It’s the potential that scares a typical mindset which needs to be defeated. We need to join hands for a resilient Pakistan in all spheres,” she concluded. (APP)