Ms. Shireen Arshad Khan (late), the Founder of Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry Bahawalpur – Division Bahawalpur, was pioneer and visionary about women development and capacity building of underprivileged women of rural areas. After years of hard work and struggle, she managed to promote and envision an idea of independence for rural women who could not come out of their homes or earn any livelihood due to the customs of their village.
Ms. Khan introduced loans without taking profit in return, which was beneficial for various women living under miserable conditions after having to pay 23% markups to the banks. The women she helped now work for major brands and are making a good living for themselves. She also realized and took the initiative of empowering local rural women by imparting them with livestock training so they can utilize their true potential.
Today more than 540 female members in Bahawalpur District are trained in livestock to get more meat and milk training. These female members are also adding income to their households which in return is helping their children receive proper school education.
The founder managed to attract a large number of members for WCCI-BWP in which she financed membership fees of numerous members, as many of them could not afford the membership fee but had immense potential and talent. The women of the area faced major health problems because majority of them were indulged in hard labor such as wheat cutting and cotton picking. Therefore, she began by focusing on the identification of potential clusters in remote villages and, the chamber began its intervention in this regard. The hallmark of Founder success is a reflection of WCCI-BWP activities today with regard to the increase in numbers of women entrepreneurs hailing from remote villages of Bahawalpur, Rahim Yar Khan, and Bahawalnagar.
Ms. Khan has also been a Member of the National Assembly of Pakistan from the year 2008-2013. She used that platform to empower and inspire women.
The staff members of WCCI-BWP honor the legacy Ms. Shireen Arshad Khan has left behind as her vision has been carried forward by the existing management with the primary goal of women's development and promotion of female entrepreneurship amongst rural women of South Punjab.
Ms. Shireen Arshad Khan
Message Of The President 2021-2022
For years, women have repressed their voices or have had to speak at their loudest to make the world hear them. Their constant struggle is what made us come together under one roof to provide a place of growth for the underprivileged women of South Punjab. We were lost and we had our fair share of the fight but thanks to Almighty Allah, we are proudly a home for prosperity for numerous women entrepreneurs out there, opening more doors of opportunities for them. I am happy to be elected as the unopposed President of the Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Bahawalpur, and I would like to thank WCCIB for trusting me with this great responsibility and believing that I can take this organization to the next level. I celebrate all the women who want to change the world for the others around them. The chamber will work tirelessly for the empowerment of women entrepreneurs of South Punjab. In my tenure, I will make sure the women of Bahawalpur, Bahawalnagar, and Rahim Yar Khan Districts are able to improve their living conditions with the assistance Chamber provides for their businesses. My team and I are here to listen to their stories and help them become heroes of their own world.
Without access to education, legal understanding, financial stability, creativity, and a firm belief in oneself, independence cannot be reached. I will make sure all the women under our wings get these and numerous national and international training sessions and services to enhance their skills and give them a chance to showcase their talent. I want to provide enough chances to the women of South Punjab that will give them a chance to stand on their feet independently. I believe in each and every woman who is a member of this chamber. If given the correct guidance, these women can confidently make a prominent place for themselves in society.
With each passing day, we have several women showing up to register with us. The potential of our women have no boundaries. We will sit together to prepare a roadmap of our future steps together that will only bring victory for them. We are constantly in contact with several great businesses and brands to help promote the work of our members. As the President of this organization that holds so much power, I am very excited for upcoming activities and, I am determined to deliver exceptional results during my term. The women entrepreneurs of south Punjab are enthusiastic, reliable, innovative, and are willing to go to lengths to support themselves and their families. I am sure if, given the right aid, these women have the power to change their lives and inspire others around them. And, I, as the President of WCCIB, will make sure to provide a stage where they can confidently share their tales of success.
My actions will speak for themselves, and I will make sure to inspire women to dream big, and become someone others around them can look up to.
Mrs. Rabia Usman Khan,