The government has designed a roadmap to close the gender gap in education and employment, simultaneously empowering the young women to yield a substantive Sustainable Development Goals’ (SDGs) dividend that can catalyse the economic growth of Pakistan.
Chairing a high-level meeting on Saturday, Planning Minister Asad Umar said that the government would adopt the roadmap to achieve equality, stressing that the agenda of ‘Gender Development and Equality’ had been taken up by the government as a national priority.
The final gender roadmap is a key product emerging after months long nation-wide iterative consultations involving the National Youth Council (NYC), academicians, experts, national task forces, youth voices from across the globe, government officials and development partners.
In the meeting on Saturday, the packages of high impact strategic interventions were proposed, keeping in view the confronting challenges to closing the gender gap and creating equitable opportunities for women and girls.
Umar underscored the importance of gender-transformative workplaces. He desired that a policy framework be developed based on deliberations and rapid research, identifying the current barriers faced by female workers in public and private sector organisations.
“The key recommendations outlined in the framework should not only guide development of a public sector programme but must also be supported by necessary legal instruments to make working environment conducive and progressive for women,” he said, according to a statement.
He expressed concern over the rising proportion of out-of-school children following the coronavirus pandemic. He stressed the need for exploiting the e-school experiences, using Covid-19 as an opportunity for introducing innovative e-solutions.
While reviewing the proposed innovative employment generating and skill-building strategies, the minister advised that these strategies should be reviewed in tandem with the existing interventions under the Kamyab Jawan Programme.
During the meeting, the importance of dedicated transport facilities for young females was highlighted for both accessing educational and employment opportunities. Umar emphasised the national priority accorded to gender empowerment and the urgency to respond to the current situation.
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