As the Minister for Women Development Department, Government of the Punjab,I believe that full participation of women and girls in Punjab is essential for our socio-economic growth. My Department provides strategic vision overcoming barriers that prevent women from fully mainstreaming in various walks of life. It is through systematically overcoming these barriers that the dream of women’s emancipation can be realized.
Our Constitution provides equal rights for both women and men. Article 25 of the Constitution provides for the principle of women’s equality by guarantying equality before the law and equal protection by the law thereby eliminating all discrimination on the basis of sex. Article 32 and 34 of our constitution provides full participation of women in various fields of national life.
Various international treaties and global covenants have been signed by Pakistan for introducing reforms and for gender mainstreaming. These includes commitments under UN Decade for Women (1976-1985), Convention on Elimination of All kinds of Discrimination against Women (1979), Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (1995), DEVAW 1993, Millennium Development Declaration 2000, ILO Convention 100 for Equal Remuneration and the Convention against Torture, UN Gender Mainstreaming Policy and Strategy (2006) and SDG -5 on Gender Equality.
Since gender mainstreaming is a cross-cutting agenda and pro women activities are multi-sectoral, I am hopeful that all Provincial Departments of Government of the Punjab will continue to work for the uplift of half of the population of the province which consists of females.
Ashifa Riaz Fatyana
Establishment of Women Development Department demonstrates state’s strong commitment to the cause of gender equity and female empowerment. This department is striving to adopt strategies that work best to foster gender mainstreaming. Women’s empowerment has internationally been recognized as the most effective driver of socio-economic development. Achievement of Sustainable Development Goals is directly linked to inclusion of females in every walk of national life. SDG-5 specifically focuses on gender empowerment.
Women’s socio-economic participation is not possible without eliminating various vectors of disadvantage, which begin at birth and increase over the span of a woman’s life. Hence, it becomes government’s responsibility not only to help women understand the barriers they are confronted with, but also help them overcame these obstacles through legislation, policy formulation, promoting best practices, affirmative action and advocacy.
While pledging to promote women rights on behalf of Government of the Punjab, I would also like to invite everyone to come forward and embrace the agenda for gender equality which is a cross-cutting and inter-sectoral theme and needs reinforcement from all players including public & private sector, academia and practitioners, NGOs and Development Partners. For creation of such synergies, Women Development Department is here to provide a platform to bring everyone together, and to act as a catalyst to stimulate the social change.