ISLAMABAD   -   To make the 2022 a year of Female workforce employees, the government on Tuesday launched the National Gender Policy Framework.

On the occasion of International Women Day, Federal Minister Asad Umar launched the National Gender Policy Framework for Pakistan. In his inaugural speech, Asad Umar reiterated the government’s commitment to closing the gender gap and providing equal opportunities to women in all spheres of life. He said that the policy talks about instituting governance mechanisms to ensure that all committed is rolled out effectively for empowering the women of our country. He said that as Pakistan’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic garnered international praise, we fully recognise and acknowledge that our health response was delivered by a health workforce which comprises 76% females.

Deputy Chairman Planning Commission Jehanzeb Khan said that 2022 has been declared as “year of female employees” and multiple initiatives are being planned to make public sector workplaces conducive for women to work in. He said that Gender Accelerator is being established at the Planning Commission manned by gender experts to help mainstream gender in all policies and programs.

Dr Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to Prime Minister and Federal Minister, Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Ministry, in her address stressed upon the importance of gender equality in ending poverty and sustainable development.

Dr Shireen Mazari, Federal Minister of Human Rights, shared the critical human rights initiatives that the current government has steered and informed about the multiple legislative instruments that have been introduced to achieve gender parity and end gender-based violence, discrimination, and oppression.

Lt Gen Nigar Johar Khan, Col Commandant of Army Medical Corps and Surgeon General Pakistan Army, spoke on breaking barriers and how women can pursue leadership journeys. She listed five key ingredients that women leaders must have as faith, integrity, resilience, discipline and humility.

The country representatives of UN Agencies, foreign diplomats placed their pledges in support of the national gender priority agenda and for women to get equal opportunities to realise their full potential. These included Bakhtiar Khadirove, Country Representative UNFPA, Ms Aliona Niculita, Deputy Resident Representative UNDP, Ms Aida Girma- Melaku, Country Representative UNICEF, and senior officials from UN WFP, ILO, UNESCO, IOM, UNOPS, UN Women, UNIDO, FCDO, German Embassy, Italian Agency for Development Cooperation, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.