Canada, KP government collaborate to empower women

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PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government, along with its subsidiary departments including Local Government, Social Welfare, Planning and Development (P&D), and the Commission on the Status of Women with the support of Canada concluded a four-year project here at a local hotel on Tuesday to empower women in the province.

The primary objective of this project, undertaken in collaboration with Global Affairs Canada through Cowater International, is to integrate women into social, economic, and political spheres, ensuring their participation in policymaking, governance, and the enforcement of laws and policies related to women’s rights.

During the concluding conference, Justice Retired Irshad Qaisar, Caretaker Minister for Social Welfare, highlighted that over 55 percent of Pakistan’s population comprises women, yet a significant number of them struggle to earn a livelihood for themselves and their families.

She said that the government is committed to empowering women and addressing unemployment issues.

She stressed that providing basic amenities to the public is the state’s responsibility and solid measures are being taken in this regard.

Luke Myers, Head of Global Affairs Canada, emphasized that substantial efforts can be made to ensure Pakistani women’s complete and equitable participation in society and praised the collaboration between the Canadian and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa governments in advancing women’s progress.

Shabina Gulzar, team leader of the Empowerment and Political Participation Program, provided detailed insights into the project’s goals and objectives, shedding light on the importance of women’s representation in governmental processes.

The conference also featured a panel discussion with speakers including Rabia Sattar, Special Assistant to P&D; Dr. Rifat Sardar, former Chairperson Commission on the Status of Women Atiq-ur-Rehman, Deputy Director Local Government School; Zaher Shah Senior Journalist; and Shakeela Rubani, Chairperson DSW.

Speakers collectively stressed the need for Pakistani women to have equal rights and opportunities in political, social, and economic life.

They underlined that Pakistan stands at a critical juncture economically and politically, and women’s empowerment is essential for its future development.

Every girl and woman in Pakistan should have control and autonomy over their education, meaningful employment, and sustainable income for their future.

This collaborative effort between Canada and the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government serves as a significant step towards fostering gender equality and women’s participation in all aspects of society, ensuring a brighter future for Pakistan.

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