NCSW holds Pre CSW 68, Consultation with Provincial Stakeholdeers

Faiza Gillani

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Muzaffarabad: National Commission on the Status of Women (NCSW) held a consultation with provincial stakeholders on the preparation of National Report on “Need Analysis for Financing & Strengthening Institutions with Gender Perspective for Empowerment of Women and Girls” that will be presented by the commission in 68th Session of UN-Commission on the Status of Women. The consultation program was arranged with the help and support of consortium partners (UNFPA, UNICEF and UN Women & UNDP) today at Lahore. Event was attended by various gender experts, representatives from government departments, civil society organizations, NGOs, and media.
Theme of the sixty-eighth session of the Commission on the Status of Women that will take place from the 11th to the 22nd of March 2024 is “achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls by addressing poverty and strengthening institutions and financing with a gender perspective.”
The subject consultation by NCSW in partnership Consortium members UNWOMEN, UNICEF, UNDP and UNFPA aimed at preparing recommendations for the report to be presented at the 68th session of UN Commission Status of women. The speakers in consultation raised related issues with a focus on economic empowerment of women and eradication of poverty. The participants exchanged the case studies of successful strategies, policies, and programs that have effectively empowered women and advanced gender equality.
Ms. Nilofar Bakhtiar in her welcome remarks said that these pre CSW consultations by NCSW and Consortium partners aim at analyzing existing collaboration among government, civil society, the private sector, and international organizations. We look forward to creating inclusive and sustainable solutions for gender-related issues with a focus on economic empowerment and eradication of poverty as that is the core themes for CSW 68. She stressed that by adopting a comprehensive and integrated approach, societies can work towards reducing poverty and promoting gender equality simultaneously. It is essential to recognize the interconnectedness of poverty and gender issues and address them through collaborative efforts involving governments, NGOs, communities, and the private sector. The series of consultations across Pakistan it is an opportunity to evaluate the progress and identify persistent challenges hindering the achievement of gender equality to be shared in the report for the 68th session of CSW this year. “Empowering women economically is not just a goal; it’s a powerful tool to eradicate poverty. Let us invest in education, entrepreneurship, and equal opportunities for all women., “she noted.
Ms. Rehana Khan Chair AJK Commission on status of women welcomed participants from all fields of life She said that AJK has many success stories of women entrepreneurs, in public and private sector, and they need to be recognized. She suggested that awareness campaigns for women rights, financial independence for women though job opportunities can lead to a better economic status for women along with education and sensitization for men.
Mr. Zakriya UNFPA said that Rules, laws relating to women financing are there, but implementation is poor budgets reserved for women not being spent for the purpose, it must be streamlined.
Ms. Nabila Malick on behalf of UNWOMEN shared that NCSW seeks recommendations from all regions over this year’s theme that is poverty alleviation and financing for women as it will lead to the attainment of Gender equality. She suggested for an enhanced financing for women and more women employment opportunities in public and private sector.
Guest of Honor Comments:
The guest of honor at the occasion Ms. Midhat Shehzad, Additional Chief Secretary AJK said that women in AJK are progressive, competing and playing their role in all disciplines that reflects an inclusive approach for women in all fields She added that the AJK govt will keep striving to strengthening the state institutions for women empowerment at all field Multiple legislations are being done in AJK with the support of NCSW and UN partners we surely will look into the recommendations by the forum. The issues of poverty and gender equality are deeply intertwined and demand our collective efforts for a brighter and more equitable future. We recognize that many of our fellow citizens including women struggle daily to meet their basic needs. In AJK we are dedicated to implementing robust policies and initiatives that uplift the most vulnerable among us. This includes investing in education, job training programs, and creating sustainable economic opportunities that empower individuals and families to break free from the cycle of poverty. It is disheartening to see that, even in the 21st century, women continue to face obstacles that hinder their full participation in various aspects of life. Therefore, we are committed to promoting gender equality as an integral part of our development strategy. We will strive to create an environment where every citizen, regardless of gender, has equal opportunities to succeed.
The participants at consultation were engaged in group work and discussion for findings and recommendations. The participants agreed that promoting gender equality to address poverty requires a multifaceted approach that tackles the root causes and empowers both men and women. The set of recommendations included education and Skill Development with Equal Employment Opportunities for all and specially women and girls, Enforcement of anti-discrimination laws and policies in the workplace. Encouragement for businesses to adopt fair hiring practices and provide equal opportunities for career advancement for both genders. Support women entrepreneurs through microfinance programs, providing them with access to capital and resource Implement social protection programs that specifically target women, such as cash transfer programs or subsidized healthcare. Ensure that safety nets consider the unique vulnerabilities and challenges faced by women in overimproved women’s access to quality healthcare services, including maternal care and family planning.

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