The first ever two-day international conference titled “Women Entrepreneurship: Challenges and Opportunities” has kicked off at the University of Sindh (SU) Jamshoro on Wednesday.
The opening ceremony of the conference organized by the Technology Incubation Center working under the Faculty of Engineering and Technology of the University was presided over by the Vice-Chancellor Professor (Meritorious) Dr Muhammad Siddique Kalhoro.
Addressing the seminar, Sindh University Vice-Chancellor Dr Muhammad Siddique Kalhoro said that the Sindh University was playing its role in imparting higher education and research in the society with full responsibility.
He said that the number of female students getting higher education had significantly increased over the years and their performance in grabbing positions in their relating disciplines as also exquisite.
“As many as 10 thousand female students are enrolled in the University of Sindh, out of which 2 thousand female students live in girls’ hostels and they also get positions in comparison with male pupils”, he said.
He said that there were great ranks for women, especially when it came to mothers, adding that SU was trying its best to get more and more scholarships for girls.
“We have won the confidence of the donors and scholarship givers and now they are giving cash amount for the scholarship of meritorious students”, he said.
The VC further said that it was a pity that rumors were being spread from time to time that the varsity environment was not good especially for girl students, adding that it was being done in a bid to lessen the increasing enrollment of the girls in the varsities, which needed to be negated by every educated individual.
“There is a strong need to refute such rumours”, he said and stated that successful women should support the University in such sorts of things. He said that his administration had brought reforms in a bid to make the environment pleasant and friendly on the campus.
Dr Kalhoro said that employment sources were being created through Technology Incubation Center and National Incubation Center Hyderabad on SU campuses, while Sindh University had registered its software house which will start working soon.
Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah’s special assistant for science & technology, Tanzila Ume Habiba Qambrani said that in man dominated society, women were being considered to have a low status but the females had to change their minds for betterment.
“The only difference between men and women is physical, while today’s women are more powerful than men in terms of strength, courage, determination, tolerance and endurance”, she said.
She went on saying that women had not to lift 50 kg of weight and that they were being considered weaker than men. “We live in a world where atomic bombs can be dropped with just a click of a finger, challenges are everywhere, but the wife has more responsibility than the husband by default”, she said.
“When the doctor returns from work, he takes the TV remote and sits on the sofa, while his wife doctor has to feed him, wash the dishes and serve the children”, she said. She said that women worked from morning to evening but they did not get that respect, they deserved.
“Women will not get help from outside or heaven, but we have to change ourselves, Tanzila Ume Habiba said and added that women will have to come forward themselves, while the Sindh government had made the most laws for women and girls across the province, but the implementation of them should be done not by the government, but by the people themselves.
“It is important for women to be technologically savvy”, she said and added that training will be given to the students studying in the sixth, seventh and eighth semesters of information technology, after which they will be made part of the projects of the provincial government.
She said that those who were less educated and were out of the universities, will also be made useful by providing them with technical education. “In this regard, the Sindh government is working on two important projects. We are also focusing on the human development in Sindh”, she said.
Vice-Chancellor Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Medical University (SMBBMU) Larkano Prof Dr Nusrat Shah said that women were an important part of the society, but they were not yet equal to the economic development and income of the country.
“Women have more complaints from men. The male has to redress the grievances of females on the basis of merit and justice”, she said and added that girls were seeking admissions to various disciplines more than boys in educational institutions, especially medical universities, which she said was a ‘good omen’.
She said that women were reluctant to enter business or entrepreneurship, one of its reasons might be the social problems created for women in society.
“We bear in mind that we have to study and get a job after a degree, but we don’t want to come to entrepreneurship. If some women want to come into business, they are being limited to only small businesses at home, by which they don’t get much profit”, the VC said.
She lamented that some women were not allowed to work or do business freely due to the suffocated social system but they were being told to work at home. “The work at home can only be done on sewing, embroidery and small surface items, which are not so profitable”, Dr Nusrat Shah said.
She went on to say that everyone should encourage youth, especially girls to move towards entrepreneurship rather than wasting their previous time looking for public sector jobs. She said profits and losses went together in entrepreneurship, but today’s youth were only looking for profit.
“There is a stern need to follow the roadmap that leads to the betterment and sound income”, she said and added that the government could not do anything alone but the institutions, civil society and parents should play a role in this context.
Head of Circle Sadaffe Abid said that young women had been equipped with the tools of modern technology so that they could come forward to getting much benefit through entrepreneurship. “You have to believe in yourself and strengthen yourself economically”, she said addressing the females.
She said that these days it was not possible to live on the earnings of one person, the wife had to come to entrepreneurship along with the husband, with which she and her children could lead a better life.
Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Technology, University of Sindh Professor Dr. Khalilur Rahman Khoumbhati briefed about the conference proceedings, objectives, its purpose and sessions.
Dr. Arifa Bhutto, Dr. Zeeshan Bhutti and others also addressed the event. In the conference, research papers relating to the theme of the conference are being presented and lectures and discussions are being held so that young women can benefit from it.
On the other hand, local and foreign speakers are also presenting their research papers both physically and virtually.
On the occasion of the conference, stalls for the sale of hand-made products have also been set up by various business organizations and firms in an attempt to encourage the students to benefit from entrepreneurship opportunities after completing their qualifications. The conference will continue today [Thursday] as well.