Participants at the Women in Finance Thought Leaders Workshop advocated for Microfinance as a Tool to Empower Pakistani Women

ISLAMABAD, Jan 24 (APP): The Securities and Exchange of Pakistan and the Asian Development Bank on Wednesday jointly organized the “Women in Finance Thought Leaders Workshop,” involving experts from the microfinance sector, ADB, Women’s World Banking, IFC, and Google, to discuss strategies for women’s empowerment and financial inclusion. 
The inaugural day of the workshop witnessed a dynamic exploration of international best practices in the microfinance sector, shedding light on the challenges faced by non-bank microfinance institutions, particularly concerning liquidity and limited access to finance, a news release said.
Justice Jawad Hasan of the Lahore High Court, as the chief guest, highlighted the significant role of microfinance, particularly for women, in promoting economic growth and empowering individuals and communities out of poverty, highlighting their role as powerful agents of change. 
He emphasized the need to address gender disparities, limited resource access, and systemic barriers in finance, advocating for women’s empowerment and fostering a future where non-banking microfinance can serve underserved communities. 
A comprehensive review of the non-bank microfinance sector in Pakistan took centre stage at the workshop, providing a deeper understanding of the current landscape and opportunities for growth. 
Throughout the day, the workshop featured moderated sessions that delved into various facets of microfinance. A dedicated session highlighted the intersection of women and digital financial services. The participants explored innovative approaches to empower women through technology and enhance their participation in the financial ecosystem. 
Recognizing the importance of amplifying the voices of women in the financial sector, the workshop featured discussions on understanding and addressing the unique needs and perspectives of female customers. 
Fauzia Viqar, Federal Ombudsperson for Protection against Harrasment of Women at Workplace, concluded the first day of workshop by applauding the commitment, insights, and unwavering dedication of all participants to advancing women in finance. She envisioned the workshop to serve as a catalyst for ongoing dialogue, action, and progress. 
One of the key takeaways of the day was that the solution lies in synergizing the initiatives in way that stakeholders’ compliment and supplement the efforts. 
The day two of workshop would build and design proposal for policy intervention to accelerate female financial inclusion, the news release said.