UN Women is set to launch a five-year programme on social stabilisation and reconstruction.
Talking to The Express Tribune, Programme Specialist Fehmida Iqbal said that the plan was aimed at ensuring institutional accountability and facilitating women by giving them a forum to voice their demands.
Iqbal said first steps in stabilisation efforts would include access to justice and accountability, physical and economic security, active citizenship and social cohesion. She said this would strengthen institutions for disaster risk management and disaster risk reduction. She said it would also naturally pave the way for women empowerment within communities.
She said that the programme would take a human rights-based approach and improve institutional responses to challenges faced by women and girls in emergencies through strategic partnerships and innovative initiatives. She said the programme was based on a government initiative which included Post Crisis Needs Assessment (PCNA) for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). She was confident that the new plan would result in better social cohesion and provide better stabilisation processes.
Iqbal said, “The plan will be implemented in all provinces and will expand geographically from the 42 districts targeted initially under the Women, Peace and Security programme. It envisages the replication of tested concepts and models and distribution of previously developed resource materials. This five-year plan is designed to have two main aspects; those asking for their fundamental rights and those duty-bound to assist them in times of crisis. Both aspects are grounded in a human rights-based approach adapted to Pakistan’s context. “
She said the plan would increase support for a Peoples’ Plan of Action through the continued dialogue between advocates, office bearers and citizens. She said the plan would extend support ministries and departments in their efforts to curb violence against women and girls during disasters and emergencies.
“We are hope that women’s rights, including physical and economic security, will be enhanced and protected as a result of the programme,” she said.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 8th, 2013.