Sep 17 - 23, 2007

In a bid to assist female members of the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) in various aspects of business development apart from capacity building of women entrepreneurs, the LCCI in collaboration with the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) has established "Women Resource Center' at its premises in order to assist female members in various aspects of business development.

LCCI President Shahid Hassan Sheikh, Country Director CIPE Moin M Fudda, LCCI Senior Vice President Yaqoob Tahir Izhar and Chairperson LCCI's Standing Committee on Women Entrepreneur Ms Shamim Akhtar spoke at the inaugural ceremony of the Center and threw light on issues being faced by the women entrepreneurs.

Ms Shamim Akhtar told PAGE that the Center would help establish a network between business associations, financial institutions and government departments dedicated to women entrepreneurship. The Center would not only help guide more women to become successful business women but would also give boost to economic activities in the country, she said, adding, that it would also arrange seminars for the capacity building of women entrepreneurs besides preparing feasibility reports for different businesses.

Ms Shamim Akhtar said that it is a happy sign that women economic activities are no more confined to traditional trades but they are now also working as career women in the service sector such as marketing, banking, information technology, armed forces of Pakistan, media, traffic management, Civil Service of Pakistan. But despite this development, women don't enjoy the same opportunities as men. They lack access to information about available opportunities for their economic well-being, skill development, entrepreneurial skills, procedures, business codes etc., she added.

"Women have limited access to exposure of producing different products and to find alternate ways of organizing their business. The lack of confidence among women to own and run business is another major hurdle in promoting women entrepreneurship", she added. She said that the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry has always encouraged women to come forward and work for the promotion of their enterprises side by side with the businesses being run by the men. The setting up of Women Entrepreneur Resource Centre by the Chamber is a step forward to bring the women in the mainstream business activities and to facilitate them in setting up and running of their enterprises, she added.

She stressed the need for long-term strategy to overcome the issues being faced by women entrepreneurs. She said that access to information and training of women entrepreneurs are the major challenges that would be tackled through Women Resource Center.

According to the Country Director Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) Moin M. Fudda, CIPE primary role in Pakistan was to support efforts to improve business environment through advocacy and policy dialogue. The CIPE was working closely with Chambers and Trade associations to help build their capacities to meet the challenges of 21st century. Women entrepreneurship has not been adequately addressed yet because of lack of coherent approach in the vision, mission and policies of the organizations working for this cause.



The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the Federation International de Football Association (FIFA) have kicked off a new "Goals for Girls'" campaign, which aims at promoting education, gender equality and women's rights through sport.

Launched in conjunction with the FIFA Women's World Cup China 2007, Goals for Girls! will use the competition as a platform to explain how educating girls not only helps eliminate gender discrimination but also contributes to addressing many of the most serious problems their communities face, says a message received here on Tuesday.

"Children everywhere have a right to education, and educating girls is a key to defeating poverty, hunger, disease, violence, abuse and exploitation," said UNICEF Executive Director Ann Veneman. "Through Goals for Girls, UNICEF and FIFA will take this important message to soccer fans around the world. "The Federation's President, Joseph Blatter, said FIFA's long-standing partnership with UNICEF is founded on the two organisations' shared goal of supporting the rights of children, especially those of girls. "Football has an indispensable role to play as a tool for promoting integration, education and communication and, as such, it can help build a better future," he said.

According to a spokesman of Pakistan Football Federation (PFF), the UNICEF-FIFA campaign promotes the child-friendly school model, offering both genders a quality education in a safe environment, even in emergency situations. UNICEF also works with partners and governments to remove barriers to education, including school fees and lack of access.

Moreover, the three-time champion Army announced 24-member squad which will take part in the third AFC President's Football Cup. The eight-team competition will run through September 20-30 in Lahore's Punjab Stadium hosting 13 matches while two matches are being awarded to Garhi Shahu's Railway Stadium.

Army's squad is made up of Mehmood Ahmed ( Faisalabad), Muhammad Imran (Toba Tek Singh) and Mubasher Hussain (Bhakkar) who have the honor of winning gold in 10th South Asian Games last year at Colombo, Sri Lanka on 26 August 2006. Former Pakistani skipper Jaffar Khan is also among the keeper named for the event which is meant for clubs from the emerging countries.

Babar, who captained Army in Second AFC President's Cup at make-shift venue Malaysia's Sarawak Stadium and Negeri Stadium last year, also snatched spot in last 24 and favorite to retain captain's armband. Imran Hussain, one of the sorer for Pakistan in 6th SAFF Championship two years ago at Karachi and leading marksman in 51st National soccer, will lead the attack of Army alongwith Abid Masih, Jafar Ali, Adnan Bari and Muhammad Sajid.

"Our team is currently training at Rawalpindi's Army Sports Complex and all the players are in positive mood under coaching staff of Shaukat Ali, Muhammad Afzal. Luck eluded us when we played the same event last year and failed to impress our fans. But we are expecting to qualify for semi-final at Lahore as all players are physically fit and want to do something to give honor to Pakistan,' said Major Shafqat Mehmood, manager of Pakistan Army.

Brig. Saleem Nawaz, Head of the Army Sports Directorate, approved Rana Shujaat ( Chef de Mission), Shafqat Mehmood (Manager), Shaukat Ali (Coach), Muhammad Afzal ( Goal keeper coach), Muhammad Azhar (Trainer), Mir Mushtaq Ahmed (Sponsor) and Mahmood Riaz (Physiotherapist) as officials while twenty-four players are as follow :Goal Keepers (3) : Jaffar Khan, Muhammad Imran, Mahmood Ahmed Defenders (9) : Muhammad Khabab, Muhammad Kashif Shah, Muhammad Shahbaz, Ghulam Mustafa, Tanveer Shahid, Muhammad Imran, Umar Daraz, Muhammad Sharif, Gulzar Ahmed Midfielders (7) : Majid Khan, Michael Masih, Babar Mehmood, Khalid Munir, Faheem Riaz, Muhammad Shabbir, Mubashar Hussain, Strikers (5): Imran Hussain, Abid Masih, Jafar Ali, Adnan Bari, Muhammad Sajid.