Date: 8th March 2022
i- 9.45 -11.30 am – Inaugural Session
ii- 11.30-1.30 pm Pledges and Commitments
Venue: Auditorium P Block, Planning Commission
Women comprises almost half of the population in Pakistan. The provision of enabling environment is prerequisite for equal participation of women in economic activity that is a linchpin of the 12th Five Year Plan (2018-23). Ensuring appropriate deployment of nearly half of the total population has a vast bearing on the growth, competitiveness and overall economy of the country. Pakistan has adopted a number of key international commitments to gender equality and women's human rights – the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Beijing Platform for Action, the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women, and the Sustainable Development Goals. Despite all these initiatives, Pakistan's ranking for gender equality remains one of the lowest in the world.
The Government of Pakistan being fully cognizant of its constitutional responsibilities for protecting the rights of the women. Empowering women is indeed a top priority national agenda for which the Planning Commission pursued a strong manifesto for ensuring equal rights for women and had put in place a National Gender Policy Framework. Between March and Dec 2021, the Planning Commission undertook an intensive nation-wide multi-channel consultative exercise with ministries, provincial departments, subject experts, development partners, academicians, researchers, practitioners and youth representatives to set national gender policy framework agenda identifying focused, evidence-informed high impact strategic priorities for accelerating progress on gender mainstreaming and improving the consistently low ranking on gender indices
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) recognize the importance of women empowerment as a cross-cutting theme. Goal 5 i.e. "achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls" is applicable to all its three dimensions i.e. economic, social and environment. The targets for this goal seek to end all forms of discrimination, eliminate violence against women and girls in all its manifestations such as health and reproductive rights, political, social and economic inclusion, recognition and value of unpaid family support and removal of socio-cultural impediments that hinder accessibility. Targets 5.4, 5(a) and 5(b1) are particularly relevant to enabling women's economic empowerment. Women's right to information is emphasized through greater use of information technology along with protection of women's land rights.
Since women comprise almost half of total population of Pakistan, the sustainability in three dimensions can only be achieved through inclusion and their empowerment. Thus, the focus on gender mainstreaming and women's empowerment corroborates with the thrust on economic growth and development.
World Economic Forum (WEF) releases Global Gender Gap reports with country profiles and Pakistan has been ranked amongst bottom two countries on Global Gender Index (GGI) for the past decade. In 2021, Pakistan has moved down from 151st to 153rd ranking. The country also ranks 178th on Gender Development Index out of 181 countries.
Pakistan being signatory to Agenda 2030, the UN Convention on CEDAW (1966) and Beijing Platform for Action (1995). Abiding by the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan which enshrines the provision of equal rights and equal treatment to all citizens/ persons without any gender discrimination, and under the active leadership of the Honourable Minister Asad Umar, the Planning Commission worked on development of the National Gender Policy Framework. This is a reaffirmation of the Government's commitment to provide women with a secure and enabling environment; and to ensure their rightful role in national development. This is also in recognition of the dismal national standing against international gender development indices and a widening gender gap which is costing Pakistan PKR 500 billion annually and closing which can boost the country's GDP by 30 percent.
To officially launch the national gender policy framework and seek commitments from the provincial governments and pledges from the development partners for advancing the national gender development agenda
1. Overview of the Gender Policy Framework, the rationale, process and domains
2. Keynote Address - Women- Centric Initiatives under the Ehsaas Program Dr Sania Nishtar, SAPM on Poverty Alleviation and Social Protection, Member Senate of Pakistan
3. Keynote Address - Women Empowerment- A central pillar of Pakistan's development paradigm Dr Shireen M Mazari, Minister for Human Rights
4. Keynote Address - What it takes for women to be Leaders Lieutenant General Nigar Johar Khan, Surgeon General & Colonel Commandant of Army Medical Corps (AMC)
5. Inaugural address - - Women Empowerment as key driver for achieving SDG Mr. Asad Umar, Minister Planning Development & Special Initiatives Address
2.Pledges and Commitments
1.Commitments from the Provincial Governments to advance the Gender Development Agenda -Provincial Planning and Development Departments Punjab, Sindh, KPK, Baluchistan, GB & AJK
2.Commitments from the Development Partners on aligning their support to the strategic priority areas of the gender policy framework -Country Representatives Development Partners
1. Hear from senior women leaders on the occasion of International Women's Day
2. Reaffirm Government's commitment on achieving SDG 5 and its recognition of gender parity as a national priority agenda
3. Reflect on lessons learnt and share local success stories
4. Orient provincial and federal stakeholders on the scope and contents of the Gender Policy framework.
5. Generate commitments from federal and provincial government and from the development partners for to advance on the national gender strategic intent
6. Agree on next steps and way forward
Government Officials (Federal and Provincial)
Development Partners – Country Representatives
Senior Women Leaders