Women’s Chamber of Industry and Commerce makes Pledge for Parity

Tuesday, 8 March 2016 00:19 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


By Rifa Musthapha

As the world celebrates the empowering of women today, I look back at the achievements women have made not only with pride, but also with some dejection. 

From becoming heads of state to groundbreaking scientists and academics, pioneering corporate heads and entrepreneurs, to those who fend for their families in the midst of dire challenge, women have certainly progressed much. But it begs the question, have women gained their due place?

The theme this year, Pledge for Parity, highlights the massive gap in gender equality, discrimination and representation. And this is the reason, we, as the world’s first women’s chamber of commerce and industry, have been striving to empower women, crowning them for their achievements as we have done in launching the Woman Entrepreneur Awards, the Commonwealth Businesswoman’s Award.

Being a chamber that represents business and professional the women in this country, we are very pleased about the Government’s decision to increase women’s participation in local politics to 25%, which has been dismal through the years. This representation must be extended to the corporate sector as well where once again, representation on boards are bleak.

I’m glad to see the start of the initiative, BE-Women on Boards 20-2020, pushing the private sector to have at least a 20% representation of women on boards by 2020. Initiatives like these are imperative to push women into leadership, both in government and in the corporate sphere because it has been proven repeatedly that women make the ultimate difference in the performance of any entity, both quantitatively and qualitatively.

Women arise; your time has come to stand up and make a difference, because it is you who can demolish boundaries, empower communities and build nations. Happy Women’s Day!

(The writer is President, Women’s Chamber of Industry and Commerce.)