Islamabad – BISP Chairperson Marvi Memon, who is also ‘Member World Bank Advisory Council on Gender and Development’, on Monday held a meeting with Elizabeth Broderick to discuss issues of women empowerment, gender equality and domestic and family violence.
Ms Elizabeth Broderick is Global Co-Chair Women’s Empowerment Principles, UN Global Compact and Special Advisor to Under-Secretary UN Women. She is founder of “Male Champions of Change” and Australia’s former Sex Discrimination Commissioner. She is on a visit to Pakistan to discuss efforts underway in Australia, Pakistan and globally to advance women’s equality and to engage private as well as public sector leaders to support and propagate policies on gender equality.
Ms Elizabeth said that gender equality is one of the most significant societal and economic issues. We need more decent powerful men to step up beside women in building a gender equal world. If women are left out intentionally, then they are excluded by the system unintentionally, that’s why we need to increase women representation at every forum for sustainable development. To start with, we must champion gender equality in our organizations if we want a visible change and increase of women in leadership positions.
During the discussion on efforts in Pakistan for women empowerment, Minister Memon stated that BISP, by providing financial assistance to 5.4 million most vulnerable households through women head of families, contributes directly to the women empowerment in the country.
She also mentioned 50,000 BISP Beneficiary Committees (BBCs) across the country which is a real women empowerment tool.
Through these committees, poor and illiterate women are educated on gender violence and are encouraged to stand up for their legal rights in the family as well in the society.
The women are also trained to take care of themselves and their families by training them on nutrition, health, and gender sensitive curriculum. Ms. Memon’s landmark acid legislation also came under discussion which provides protection to women against violence and has increased prosecution rate for this heinous crime.
It was also discussed that issues of domestic and family violence result into low contribution in the national economy and highlighting these issues can add to voice and agency of women.
There is strong need to link women to speaking opportunities so that they can raise their voices against discrimination and violence. They agreed to work together for the promotion of gender diverse environment, women empowerment and elimination of domestic and family violence.