Insurance industry should introduce women-specific products

ISLAMABAD: Trend of insuring male members of the family should be changed as putting homemakers and women entrepreneurs to risks amounts to discrimination.

Like many other sectors, insurance industry in Pakistan is excessively focused on males while women are ignored which is unreasonable, said Mian Shahid, Chief Executive Saudi Pak Insurance Company here on Friday during a meeting with Samina Fazil, founder President Islamabad Women Chamber of Commerce (IWCCI).

He said “we should not ignore welfare of women while insurance industry should introduce tailor-made solutions for domestic and businesswomen”.

Women should be enabled to take care of her family and business in times of crisis; they deserve stability and certainty which is possible if they have the opportunity to transfer any loss, he added.

Mian Shahid said that women face a series of problems as soon as they decide to jump into entrepreneurship. These include issues associating to family, society, traditions, customs, values, ethics, motherhood, insecurity, abuse etc.

A male may not require approval of family to start a business while women have to seek many approvals including that from head of family, said Mian Shahid who is also Chairman of Pakistan Society Watch.

Women in rural areas have to suffer more as they face extra resistance from men and they are seen with suspicious eyes which put a break to their growth, he observed.

“We should stop seeing entrepreneurship as a right given only to the male members of society”, Mian Shahid said.

At the occasion, Samina Fazil said that emotion attachment to family and domestic as well as other burdens take away lots of their time and energy, which make it difficult run an enterprise successfully.

Male chauvinism is still the order of the day, women are not treated equal to men, system keeps them rear seat, she added.

Many women remain in dark about the development of new technology, new methods of production, marketing etc which can help them to flourish.

Women also suffer when it comes to raising and meeting the financial needs. Bankers, creditors and financial institutes ignore assistance to women on different unfounded grounds, said Samina.

Women face exploitation by middlemen because they cannot run around for marketing, distribution and money collection.

Intermediaries continue to exploit them in the guise of helping which result in less sales and lesser profit, she said.

Published in Pakistan Society Watch.