LUMS Provost Highlights the University’s Women-centric Initiatives
“LUMS is one of the few universities in Pakistan with an institutional commitment towards gender equity,” said LUMS Provost, Dr. Farhat Haq at an event hosted by the US Embassy in Pakistan and the US-Pakistan Women’s Council on ‘Advancing Women’s Entrepreneurship and Supplier Diversity’ on November 20.
“LUMS has educated several generations of young women to take on important roles in industry, business, non-profit and the education sector. I have been lucky enough to come to LUMS off and on for the last 17 years to teach, and I have seen dozens of young women go on and get higher education, and do some amazing work,” explained Dr. Haq.
More specifically, she referred to the initiative taken at the Suleman Dawood School of Business (SDSB) at LUMS to provide 50% scholarship for women for all graduate programmes; as a result, 122 women were given this scholarship in Fall 2020. Dr. Haq elaborated that this strong intervention has shown promise and proves that LUMS is making a difference in the future of women entrepreneurs and business leaders. She added that SDSB has also created a new degree, the Master of Science in Supply Chain and Retail Management which will also offer a 50% scholarship to women.
The University has also established different centres and offices such as the Office of Accessibility and Inclusion, and the Saida Waheed Gender Initiative that are working towards making the LUMS community more inclusive and equitable. “We also have many women at LUMS in leadership positions which shows that we are in the right direction. Within that, we have been focusing on things that help women succeed. We have been implementing policies against sexual harassment, and have one of the few campuses in South Asia that are period-friendly for women,” she added.
Dr. Haq summed up her talk by adding that for Pakistan to progress, the country needs to invest in women’s education, and create opportunities for them. “In Pakistan, we have some very fundamental problems such as illiteracy. Yes, we need to work at the level of women-owned businesses, but we must remember that a lot of the problems really exist at the level of working-class women.”