Islamabad : On occasion of the International Women’s Day, Federal Minister Asad Umar launched the first ever National Gender Policy Framework for Pakistan.
Speaking at the occasion Dr Shabnum Sarfraz, Member Planning Commission said that the National Gender Policy framework stands as the culmination of nation-wide consultations steered by the Ministry of Planning Development and Special Initiatives. The framework was developed in active coordination with the MOHR and all key institutions, while engaging federal and provincial stakeholders, development partners, sectoral and subject experts, meaningfully engaging the youth, and deliberating on the strategic priorities for closing the gender gap in education, employment and making workplaces conducive for women across the country. The focus was also kept also on promoting engagement of women in decision making and instituting gender transformative structures to help ensure we make all happen what is being committed for.
In his welcome note the Deputy Chairman Planning Commission informed that 2022 has been declared as “year of female employees” and multiple initiatives are being planned to make public sector workplaces conducive for women to work in. He said that Gender Accelerator is being established at the Planning Commission manned by gender experts to help mainstream gender in all policies and programs.
Asad Umar in his inaugural speech reiterated the government’s commitment to closing the gender gap and providing equal opportunities to women in all spheres of life. He said that the policy talks about instituting governance mechanisms to ensure that all committed is rolled out effectively for empowering the women of our country. He said that as Pakistan’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic garnered international praise, we fully recognize and acknowledge that our health response was delivered by a health workforce which comprises of 76 per cent females.
The launch was attended by a powerful panel of key note speakers. Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to Prime Minister and Federal Minister, Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety. In her keynote address, she stressed upon the importance of gender equality in ending poverty and sustainable development. She elaborated on the gender mainstreaming within the Ehsaas Program and the impact achieved to date. While appreciating the launch of the framework by the Planning Commission, she offered all support and access to Ehsaas data bank as the policy is rolled out.
Dr. Shireen M. Mazari, Federal Minister of Human Rights, shared the critical human rights initiatives that the current government has steered and informed about the multiple legislative instruments that have been introduced to achieve gender parity and end gender-based violence, discrimination, and oppression.