Women and Business

In the past 50 years, women’s legal status has improved all over the world. But many laws still make it difficult for women to fully participate in economic life – whether by getting jobs or starting businesses. Discriminatory rules bar women from certain jobs, restrict access to capital and limit their capacity to make legal […]

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Commonwealth myths: a business perspective.

In a revealing and refreshingly clear comment, a leading Pakistani official said that Pakistan had been in and out of the Commonwealth so many times it has never really realised its value or how to maximise its membership. Indeed if you take the number of years that Pakistan has been in and out of the […]

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Unleashing the Women Power

It was a familiar pattern. A first time visitor to Pakistan whose expectations were exceeded and preconceptions challenged by what she saw and who she met. This was very much in line with the experience of previous visitors to Pakistan this year in delegations from Commonwealth countries in diverse sectors such as SMEs, mining, fashion […]

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Women: Power and Potential

Next month sees the 10th Commonwealth Women’s Affairs Ministers Meeting (WAMM), which will be held in Dhaka from June 17 to 19. This will bring together countries across the 54 Commonwealth countries, representing a total of one billion women. Held every three years, these meetings provide opportunities for ministers, senior officials, civil society organisations, and […]

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Perth Takeaways

In March, I was part of the first trade delegation from the United Kingdom to Pakistan in six years. One of my most vivid memories is the final evening of the tour as delegate after delegate recounted impressions of their first visit to Pakistan. Yes there were challenges but the hospitality, opportunity and resilience exceeded […]

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Joining the dots

In a major report launched last month, the Commonwealth highlighted the fact that public procurement is increasingly being recognised as a vehicle to help governments to achieve social goals and sustainable economic development. Within the Commonwealth, South Africa and Malaysia are two examples of countries where a public procurement policy has been used to empower […]

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Gender: Women on Boards

Countries continue to respond to the global economic crisis with increased engagement in corporate governance reform. An area in which the momentum for change has increased is the composition of boards. A significant shift in achieving the changes to the way boards perform lies in the appointment of women in senior leadership roles. The increased […]

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Gender: The big idea

When Malala Yousafzai made her powerful address at the United Nations (UN) on July 12, she talked about women’s rights and girls’ education. In a different but also significant context, this echoes the Charter of the Commonwealth signed by the Queen in March and adopted and endorsed by heads of government last December, which for […]

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Women: Entrepreneurs on the Move

As the global economy slowly regains ground following the worldwide recession, entrepreneurship is increasingly recognised as the broad-based driver of economic growth and societal well-being. However, in nearly every economy there are fewer female than male entrepreneurs, and they appear to show reluctance to scale their businesses or to enter new and less tested markets. […]

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Equality means Business

On March 6, the fifth annual Women’s Empowerment Principles event was held by the United Nations (UN) Global Compact and UN Women. The event, which marked International Women’s Day, focused on how inclusive business strategies and practices drive change towards realising the Women’s Empowerment Principles. It also featured innovative approaches taken by the private sector […]

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