Facebook And Punjab IT Board Come Together For Herself Women Convention
8th July saw a first of its kind convention being held at the Arfa Software Technology Park. PITB’s Herself Women convention saw a turnout of over 500 women who came together on one platform to talk about the issues plaguing the women of today.
Keeping in line with the theme of the event “Steps towards a progressive nation”, the event consisted of numerous talk sessions along with engaging workshops and other activities. The purpose of this all was to motivate women in actively participating in the improvement of the quality of education offered to women as well as opening up more diverse career paths for women.
Chairman of PITB, Dr. Umar Saif kicked off the convention with a welcome address, “We are the 6th most populous country with more than 50% of the population comprising of women. It is our duty to step up and empower them. If we can’t empower females, this country is hard to progress.”
The keynote address was given by Dr.Shehla Javed, President of WCCI Lahore. The convention then went on to a candid conversation piece between Nabeel Qadeer, the flag bearer of Entrepreneurship Wing at PITB and Ms.Seema Aziz owner of Care Foundation and Bareeze.The two intellectuals talked about the exemplary leadership positions women have held throughout the century.
The first panel focused on education was called Stepping Up followed by an interactive dialogue of the role of women in policy making. The third panel talked about the power of media and how women could make a massive impact through media. The last panel educated the women about how they could move this economy towards a boom by pursuing entrepreneurship.
Some of the notable panelists included Nadia Naviwala, Author of ‘Pakistan’s Education Crisis: The Real Story’, Fariha Ummar, Manager Women’s Economic Empowerment and Women Leadership at UN Women Pakistan, Sadaf Zarrar, Owner of SiddySays, Selina Rashid, CEO LotusPR, Zainab Abbas, Sports Journalist, Aisha Sarwari who worked for CNN and National Public Radio in the US and USAID.
The event also included Seema Aziz, the only woman from Pakistan who has made it to the Forbes 500 list.
Facebook was an official event partner and they supported the event by conducting online panel discussions, workshops, and competitions direct from the Facebook Headquarters.
Ritesh Mehta ( head of South East Asia Facebook’s #SheMeansBusiness) and Ali Khurshid ( Business Development Lead for Facebook Pakistan) awarded credits worth $350 to the winners of the Facebook competition. The 3 winners consisted of Otto founder Nisa Anwar, Creative Creations founder Namra Tahir and Xgeekster founder Laraib Zamar.
The highlight of the event was when women were given the chance to ride a Vespa and heavy bikes. This activity was conducted by Distinguished Women on Wheels and taught these women how they could do anything that they put their minds to.
Women make up for more than 50% of the world’s population. If women were given the freedom and the opportunities to follow the careers they want, the world’s economy would be in a much better place. Events like these play a huge part in empowering the women in our country who possess odes of talents but have to suppress their aspirations in order to play the roles they are designated to.
We hope that the next time a convention of this sort rolls around, we have double the number of women in leadership positions.