Gender policy framework

Initiative of the Ministry of Planning and Development is laudable and one hopes it will embolden women participation

March 10, 2022


The State of Pakistan came up with an energetic rejoinder as the nation observed the women’s empowerment day. In a comprehensive policy approach, the government launched the first-ever National Gender Policy Framework, which exclusively talks of reforms and inserting in a mechanism to buoy potential of the fairer sex in all walks of life. This cohesive approach is appreciated and will go a long way in enabling women to charter through the rough route of progression by inevitably overcoming the inherent odds that are there in our patriarchal society.

The initiative on the part of the Ministry of Planning and Development is laudable and one hopes it will embolden women participation along with equal opportunities to excel in whatever sphere of life they wish to focus on. This incidentally is a departure from conventionalism that had hampered progress and growth along lines of sexism in the society.

Women form more than 50% of our populace, and have exhibited utmost resilience. They are in all professions ranging from farming to bureaucracy and from nursing to judiciary. Yet Pakistan by virtue of traditional norms is a passive society, and women have to struggle to make their presence felt. It is, nonetheless, a good omen that there are enough laws in the annals to protect the fundamental rights of women, and with the passage of time the women’s empowerment movement has received wider national acknowledgement. The men strata are responsive, alive and embedded in nourishing women skills, and it is a great national achievement. Perhaps, this is why regression hasn’t set in our society, and despite being backward and economically disenfranchised, women are recognised, respected and rewarded in our midst. This is epoch-making in empowering womanhood and the new policy is an extension in the right direction.

The need of the hour is unanimity of approach while pools of potential are gathered. The first and foremost need, rightly referred to by a federal minister, is to ensure education to women. A good mother is a great nation-builder, and this is how progressive societies have evolved. Likewise, uplifting women from backward areas, making them realise their rights in societal spheres and freeing them from the fear of otherness is the way to go. Time to amplify the woman’s voice.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 10th, 2022.

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