The Ministry of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Tuesday launched the National Gender Policy Framework-2022 here on the eve of International Women Day aimed at providing a conducive environment to women to excel and empower them.
Chairing the launching event, Minister for Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives Asad Umar attributed the global recognition and success of Pakistan’s effective Covid response efforts, to the women owing to playing key role as front-line healthcare workers.
“As Pakistan got global recognition for its COVID19 response, we fully recognize that our health response was delivered by a health workforce which comprises of 76% females (55% female doctors, 88% female nurses and 100% female lady health workers)”, he said.
An effort to boost women’s right
The current government has made an organized effort and put together the National Gender Policy Framework which packages the intelligence gathered through subject experts, international reviewers, and most importantly putting together a set of gender focused strategic priorities identified by our youth.
Asad Umar highlighted that the Policy contains the government’s clearly defined intent to provide women with the requisite rights and opportunities to thrive as equal and prosperous citizens of Pakistan.
“I am confident that effective implementation of this Policy will contribute immensely to inclusive social and economic development in which women across social, political, and economic divides will play important and empowering roles,” he added.
Asad Umar said six different points have been worked in the policy including education, good governance system with special focus on women, employment opportunities for women, security, health and promoting political participation and leadership.
He said without engaging the half population of the country, Pakistan could not move forward on the path of sustainable development.
The minister maintained that the government is cognizant of the fact that gender equality is not just one goal, but is the key to delivering all the seventeen Sustainable Development Goals, as it is the prime enabler and accelerator for Agenda 2030.
He said the government is cognizant of the fact that gender equality is not just one goal, but is the key to delivering all the seventeen Sustainable Development Goals, as it is the prime enabler and accelerator for Agenda 2030.
The minister said increasing economic participation of 49.2 percent of the female population is the top-most priority of the government.
According to stats issued by the ministry, total labour force participation in Pakistan is 68.76 million, out of which female participation in labour force is 16.36 million and male labour force participation is 52.41 million.
Even within young women (ages 15-29), only 23 percent are part of the Labour Force as compared to 70 percent of men of the same age group.
Looking at the statistics
Although an estimated 76 million women are of working age, only 3.2 million participate in ‘paid’ labor and 72.8 million women are not in any form of “paid’ labor.
The national labor value in Pakistan’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) can be increased by 27% by increasing female labor force participation to 50 percent while completely closing the gender gap can boost the national GDP by 30 percent i.e. USD 85.2 billion.
Women’s unpaid work is valued (using comparative median wages) at Rs 683 billion. This constitutes 57 percent of all work done by women, equaling 2.6 percent of the national GDP.
Speaking on the occasion, Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari said the incumbent governmen has taken numerous measures to resolve the special issues faced by the women besides providing a conducive working atmosphere to the women and girls to increase share of women in the country’s development process.
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Poverty Alleviation and the country’s first lady Lt. General Nigar Johar also spoke on the occasion.
APP with additional input by GVS