Punjab IT Board’s Herself Women Convention, which was held on the 8th of July at Arfa Software Technology Park, received an overwhelming response. Over 500 women attended the convention which stuck true to its word and highlighted all the right issues and asked for solutions from industry leaders. The theme of this, first of its kind, convention was, ‘Steps towards a progressive nation’.
Dr. Umar Saif, chairman Of PITB, commenced the convention with a welcome address by Dr. Umar Saif. He said,
“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.”
An honest conversation took place between Nabeel A. Qadeer, the flag bearer of Entrepreneurship Wing at PITB and Mrs. Seema Aziz, owner of Bareeze and Care Foundation, where they talked about the character of exemplary role of women in leadership positions. The keynote speaker was Dr. Shehla Javed, President Lahore WCCI.
The convention was well planned. There were several thought-provoking talk sessions, exciting workshops along with various other activities aimed at educating and motivating women to be an active participant in improving the quality of education. These activities also prompted females to step forward and make their own choice from diverse career paths for women in Pakistan. Another interesting activity that took place was the riding of the Vespa. The activity was conducted by Distinguished Women on Wheels. Ladies attending the convention were given a chance to ride Vespa and heavy bikes; an experience worth remembering.
The panels were divided according to the theme and each panel represented a step towards a progressive nation. The first panel around education was called Stepping up; followed by a dialogue around role of women in policy making. Panelists representing the third step talked about how women can make a colossal impact through media. The last panel was about how women can move this economy forward by pursuing entrepreneurship and leadership roles. 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 official partner of Herself Women Convention was Facebook, a social networking site that plays a vital role in causing awareness in our generations. Facebook conducted online panel discussions, workshops and competitions from the Facebook HQ. 3 winners were chosen for the Facebook competition who were awarded Facebook credits worth $350 by Ritesh Mehta, head of South East Asia Facebook’s #SheMeansBusiness and Ali Khurshid, Business Development Lead for Facebook Pakistan.
As Herself was all about women and their empowerment, Herself’s own graduates startups displayed their work to inspire other women who were newly introduced to the notion of entrepreneurship. Ideas were shared and discussed about how women can contribute to different sectors to boost the economy. This was also an opportunity to familiarize young women to successful women in various fields and encouraging them to pave their own way to success.
What Herself promised for its first ever convention, Herself delivered!