Pakistan is finally on the right track when it comes to women empowerment and gender equality as women across the country are contributing to the country’s economy in ways unimaginable a few decades ago.
Women are becoming more self-reliant, creating their own businesses and start-ups and inspiring young girls to follow their footsteps.
A recent tweet by World Bank Country Director for Pakistan, Illango Patchamuthu, has met with a lot of criticism by hardworking women and men who are playing their role in ensuring diversity and gender equality. Illango stated that the company registration process differs for married women in Pakistan, the implication being that the process is more difficult and discriminates against women looking to start their own business.
Here’s what he said:
In #Pakistan, married women cannot legally register a business in the same way as married men as the business registration procedures differ for women & men.
— Illango (@Illango_WB) January 3, 2020
The tweet has since been retweeted by the official Twitter handles of the World Bank South Asia, and World Bank Gender Group along with influentials such as a former member of Parliament, Bushra Gauhar.
The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) has clarified that the process for business registration is the same for everyone regardless of gender.
The process of incorporating a company in Pakistan for a married man or woman is the same. There is no additional requirement for a married woman. Married men or women are required to provide the same set of information/documents for registering a company.
“CNIC/Passport copy is accepted as a proof a person’s identity (a man or a woman) and for verification of his/her particulars”, the statement further clarified, refuting the claims made by World Bank’s Country Director for Pakistan.
A number of women, who have gone through the process have also rebuffed the irresponsible tweet by a man holding a strong position.
This is so false statement @Illango_WB! In Pakistan, business Registration process is same for everyone regardless of gender & marital status. So unfortunate to see such a false statement coming from a person of your stature. @SECPakistan @FBRSpokesperson @iwcci_pk
— Fatima, Anila Pakistan (@anilafatima2) January 4, 2020
This information is incorrect. Registration process of a business is the same for a married, unmarried, man or woman. I run my business and therefore have first hand information of this..
— Keepsakes (@KeepsakesbyReem) January 4, 2020
This statement should be corrected because there is no difference in registering business for a married male or female in Pakistan. Please check the registration procedures and correct your tweet.
— Halima Khan (@HalimaK12205616) January 5, 2020
Running my own company here in Pakistan. It's the same for men and women. Your statement is wrong. @SECPakistan has made the whole registration process easy and online.
— Zeea Hasan (@ZeeaHasanTalib) January 4, 2020
I was a house wife who not only completed her edu after 17 yrs all the way to PhD but opened a company after 21 yrs of marriage. Guess what? Not only my company (@tfeeel) was incorporated 100% online, but it took <2 days to even get my NTN no. for the company (1/2)
— The FEEEL (@TFeeel) January 5, 2020
There may be issues, but gender discrimination for registering a business is not among them.
This is totally wrong we do have many issues for women running their businesses but this is totally misinformation.#womenentrepreneurs in Pakistan can easily register their businesses without any prejudice or gender discrimination.
— Tehmina A Chaudhry (@tehminasad) January 4, 2020
Please fact check. Misinformation like this is what deters and dissuades women from coming forward.
This may be the case in several other countries quoted in the research in the shared link – not in Pakistan though. There are several problems but this isnt one.
— Sana Khalid (@SanaKayy) January 4, 2020
The tweet has hurt the sentiments of women organizations and entrepreneurs as well.
It is very saddening to see such tweets coming from responsible people like you. Here we are struggling much to show the progressive women in businesses in Pakistan.
Business is business regardless of the gender and Martial status.@WorldBankSAsia @Illango_WB #letstreatequal
— IWCCI (@iwcci_pk) January 4, 2020
The World Bank official is facing the heat for not validating his claims before posting the tweet.
@WorldBank @WorldBankSAsia why have you hired people like @Illango_WB who share wrong information.
Shame on not deleting this tweet even when women entrepreneurs have replied to prove this as false information.
— Yasir Wattu (@yasirwattu) January 5, 2020
Interestingly, Illango hasn’t deleted the tweet but has instead said that he was ‘glad to hear from many women entrepreneurs who were not constrained by this’.
Married women are asked to provide the name of their spouse or deceased spouse, which is not the case for men. I was glad to hear from many women entrepreneurs who were not constrained by this.
— Illango (@Illango_WB) January 6, 2020
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