A project of the World Bank will aid the development of gender integration in the government sector of Balochistan to attain sustainable development goals under the title of gender mainstreaming.
The Governance and Policy Project (GPP) Balochistan has taken the initiative for the implementation of the Gender Equality and Women Empowerment Policy (2020-2024) and the Balochistan Protection Against Harassment of Women at Workplace Act 2016.
A sub-grant was approved for the project with financial assistance from the Multi Donor Trust Fund (MDTF) administered by the World Bank which would be implemented by the Planning and Development Department of the provincial government.
The provincial government would receive grants for multiple initiatives to overcome gender gaps and disparity in the province. The direct beneficiaries of the grant would include the Women Development Department (WDD), the government of Balochistan and the Provincial Ombudsperson on Anti-Harassment at Workplace Balochistan.
According to details of the support to the WDD, the comprehensive and pragmatic plan included gender-based analysis of government departments. Secondly, the women empowerment baseline survey would be conducted in the province for generating primary data to determine women’s socio-economic and political status in all districts of Balochistan.
The survey would be conducted to determine specifically goals 5, 8, 10 and 16 of the sustainable development goals for the implementation of the Balochistan Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment Policy (GE&WEP) 2020-2024.
Thirdly, a Capacity Needs Assessment (CNA) would be performed for both entities through the Centre of Excellence for Research-Based Management (CERBM), University of Balochistan.
Under the plan, additional support was also provided, including training and workshop on gender responsive budgeting; planning, designing and incorporating women development projects in PC1 in Public Sector Development Programme schemes; improving access to gender disaggregated data through the development or deployment of the Gender Management Information System (GMIS) at the WDD.
The initiatives would also help in developing strategic linkages between local academia and the government as they — through the employment of scientific methods for primary data collection and analysis — would carry out the women empowerment baseline survey in Balochistan.
Similarly, the assistance to the provincial ombudsperson on anti-harassment at workplace included the provision of technical assistance in functional operations of the ombudsperson’s office; provision of psychiatrists and counsellors for urgent counselling to survivors; training of all members of anti-harassment cells and the gender focal person at departmental, divisional and district level; and organising a provincial level conference besides conducting public awareness campaigns in the province at all public universities for disseminating information regarding the Anti-harassment Act.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 8th, 2021.