Parliamentarians and senior government officials, speaking at a two-day event that concluded on Tuesday, pledged to complete pending legislations on empowering home-based workers as they acknowledged that working for the progress of home-based workers, particularly women, would accelerate economic growth and help surmount economic challenges faced by the country.
Sharing their views at the event aimed at inter-provincial exchange and organised by the United Nations Women, Pakistan, in collaboration with the Women Development Department (WDD) and Sindh Commission on Status of Women, the speakers highlighted the significance of empowering women in occupational spheres.
Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Information Minister Shaukat Yousafzai laid emphasis on educating women "to enable them to advance in society and grow economically."
Speaking about K-P's policies for empowering women, he shared that 70 per cent of the province's education budget was allocated for female literacy, "which is testament to our commitment to empower women in K-P." He said that K-P's Women Empowerment Policy recognised the importance of empowering women in occupational spheres, adding that labour laws enforced in the province too included provision for protecting women against discrimination of all kinds.
"We have taken tangible steps to encourage women's participation in workforce and income-generating activities, which will not just empower women but also improve the economic indicators of the province," Yousafzai said.
Speaking along similar lines, Punjab Assembly's Gender Mainstreaming Committee Chairperson Uzma Kardar pointed out that besides the inclusion of women in workforce, there was a need to ensure their equal representation, at par with men, at the decision-making level.
In her closing remarks, UN Women Deputy Country Representative Aisha Mukhtar said that the attendees take-away from the two-day event included realisation of several emerging issues, such as the impact of climate change on women, and recommended strategies for empowering women, home-based workers and marginalised groups.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 23rd, 2020.
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