Planning Commission initiates national review of gender equality

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ISLAMABAD: A Planning Commission official said on Wednesday that the government, under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan, is taking solid steps to achieve the globally agreed and nationally adopted agenda for sustainable development.

Chairing a high-level consultative forum, Planning Commission social sector member Dr Shabnum Sarfraz said it imperative to set up a robust and regular coordination mechanism amongst all relevant stakeholders to track progress against the agreed national targets.

“In this context, sustainable development goal-5 (SDG-5) i.e. Gender Equality and Women Empowerment has been selected as a priority area by the Planning Commission to conduct an in-depth and inclusive review of progress made at the national and provincial level since 2016 and to gain insights into the initiative planned for gender mainstreaming and women empowerment,” the official added.

She said the SDG Unit of the Planning Commission has taken the lead to initiate a high-level consultative process to set up targets, report progress, share successes and lessons learnt against the SDG 5.

The high-level forum brought together relevant federal and provincial ministries/departments, including human rights and women development departments, as well as other stakeholders.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Social Welfare Secretary Mohammad Idrees on the occasion underscored that the KP government is committed to providing women with a secure and enabling environment so as to ensure their rightful role in national development.

Sindh Women Development Department Secretary Aliya Shahid informed the meeting that gender mainstreaming, empowerment and equality has gained the commitment of the highest political offices, which are in the process of devising multiple policies, plans and programmes in this regard.

Shahid Kilyani from Punjab Women Development Department and Punjab Home Department DG Faiz Naeem Waraich shared the details of Gender MIS running in the province and other initiatives launched to promote gender empowerment in Punjab.

The forum reviewed the progress of multiple initiatives being undertaken towards achieving gender equality in all its dimensions. Areas for policy intervention were identified and regular holding of similar meetings for inter-provincial reflection was strongly recommended by all.

The provinces requested the Planning Commission to facilitate the development of a conceptual framework of establishment of Gender MIS, outlining the minimum data sets required by the provinces to be collected for reporting against global indicators. Planning Commission stated it would constitute a technical working group with provincial representation for the same.

In wake of Pakistan’s first Voluntary National Review Report presentation at the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) in July this year, the government has prioritized the agenda of achieving gender equality under SDG-5.

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