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UNGA praises project to train women councillors

ISLAMABAD: The UN General Assembly, in its informal thematic discussion on ‘Promotion of Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women’ on March 6 in New York praised the Women Development Ministry’s initiative to empower women by establishing Women’s Political Schools (WPS).

Delegates at the UN meeting spoke well about the WPS project in their speeches and said that it would go a long way in developing Pakistani women and grooming them as grassroots leaders.

The ministry is implementing the $ 4.5 million project, funded by the Norwegian government, in collaboration with the UNDP to train about 26,000 women councillors across the country so they can discharge their duties effectively at grassroots levels.

Economic Affairs State Minister Hina Rabbani Khar said the ministry had introduced a unique programme to build women politicians’ capacity.

Women’s Development and Youth Affairs Minister Sumaira Malik said the landmark programme would raise woman councillors’ understanding about their constitutional and legal rights and that it would develop their capacity for public service. She said the project was expected to usher in a silent revolution by empowering women at the grassroots and that it would also play an important role in developing the nation.

National Project Manager Rehana Hashmi said the project would be completed in the first week of April, by which time about 26,000 woman councillors would be trained, adding that so far 22,643 women councillors had been trained to act as public representatives. She said so far 14,202 women councillors from Punjab, 2,268 from NWFP, 1,886 from Balochistan and 4,286 from Sindh had been trained through the programme. She said about 400 trainers had been engaged to impart the training to women councillors in four-day workshops.

Source: Daily Times

Date:3/26/2007

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