ANKARA, 14 December 2015: Minister of State/Chairperson of Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP)  Ms. Marvi Memon met here today with the Turkish Minister for Family and Social Policies Dr. Sema RAMAZANOĞLU.

During the meeting, the two sides agreed to enhance bilateral collaboration for women empowerment, poverty reduction, skills development and sharing of best practices.

Ms. Marvi Memon informed Minister Sema RAMAZANOĞLU that BISP is acknowledged as one of the top 5 social safety net programmes worldwide and is globally appreciated for its transparency and use of technology. She added that 5.2 million women are enrolled in this programme who are given national identity cards and they get quarterly stipend through banks via ATM card. This way, these women are not only economically empowered, but are also politically empowered as through the national identity card, they get voting rights as well.

The Chairperson added that BISP is making efforts to establish ‘Sisters in Success’ model whereby women, who have established themselves as successful entrepreneurs at international and national levels, will share their key messages with poor women in Pakistan for their inspiration. Terming the brotherly relationship between the people and leadership of Pakisan and Turkey at its peak, Ms. Marvi Memon said that inspirational messages from Turkish women entrepreneurs will register very well with Pakistani women and this could be an important starting point for mutual collaboration, she added.

Ms. Marvi also updated the Turkish Minister about school education programme of BISP whereby one million additional children shall be in school soon through conditional cash transfer to mothers for sending their children to school. She also shared BISP exit strategy for addressing poverty, which will be teaching the poor women technical and vocations skills and giving them interest free loans for self-employment.

Ms. Marvi suggested joint branding for the products made by the BISP beneficiaries. She proposed that the best designers of Turkey and Pakistan could collaborate to create brands for the products made by the poor BISP beneficiaries which will earn them decent living and help get them out of the poverty circle.

Turkish Minister Dr. Sema appreciated the idea of joint branding of the products made by the poor women. She said this could be a good strategy for their economic empowerment. She also thanked Minister of State/Chairperson BISP for the invitation to visit Pakistan.

Earlier, Ms. Marvi Memon visited the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB) and met with Ms. Ayfer Yilmaz, Vice President of TOBB Women Entrepreneur Board and discussed matters relating to closer interface between women entrepreneurs of Pakistan and Turkey. Among other things, she referred to corporate social responsibility and said businessmen and investors should share the burden of providing social services and ensure welfare of people in their area of operations. She said those philanthropists and NGOs who want to establish socio-economic uplift projects can benefit from the poverty database of BISP.