“The role and status of women have been changing rapidly due to growing industrialization and globalization, supported by conducive social legislations and legal instruments. With the ever-changing socio-cultural values, and spread of education and awareness, women are increasingly engaging themselves in professional activities, including entrepreneurship,” said H. E. Mr. Amjad Hussain B. Sial, Secretary General of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC). He made these remarks addressing the Best Woman Entrepreneur Award-2018 Function in Kathmandu on 11 January 2019. He was the Chief Guest at the function.
“More and more women are increasingly occupying higher positions in the Government, judiciary, parliament and political parties. We are proud that in South Asia, we currently have a lady Head of State in Nepal and a lady Head of Government in Bangladesh,” stated the Secretary General at the function.
He said that SAARC is a regional organization created primarily to promote the welfare of the peoples of this region. Convinced that women, who constitute almost 50% of the population, are South Asia’s strength, the SAARC Leaders have underscored the need for bringing them fully into the mainstream of socio-economic development, he added. He also shed light on the initiatives taken by SAARC in empowering women, with particular reference to the SAARC Social Charter and the Regional Convention for Women, and inter-governmental mechanisms, including the mechanism of Ministerial Meetings on Women. “In essence, since its inception in December 1985, SAARC’s focus has been on promoting women’s education; protecting their rights; ensuring that they are free from all sorts of discrimination; and above all, empowering them economically.”
In concluding his remarks, the Secretary General congratulated the recipient and runners up of the Best Woman Entrepreneur Award from Nepal for 2018. He expressed the confidence that such Awards will encourage them to work even harder to establish themselves as role models for other women entrepreneurs. He also commended the immense contribution being made by women of Nepal in the socio-economic development of the country.
Organized by Nepal Chapter of the SAARC Chamber Women Entrepreneurs’ Council, the Best Woman Entrepreneur Award-2018 competition received some 30 applications from promising entrepreneurs from Nepal. A panel of judges from Nepal narrowed down the list of aspirant winners to 20 in the first round, out of which 10 were shortlisted for the Award in the second round. The third round of selection decided on one winner and two runners up of the Award.
The winner of the Award from Nepal will compete in the Best Woman Entrepreneur Award from the SAARC Region for 2018 being organized by the SAARC Chamber Women Entrepreneurs’ Council in Colombo in March next year.
Established in 2001 in Colombo under the auspices of the SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry, an Apex Body of SAARC, the Women Entrepreneurs’ Council has been doing a commendable job in promoting women entrepreneurship across the region.
Kathmandu, 11 January 2019