ISLAMABAD     -    President Dr. Arif Alvi has been playing an important role in pushing the government’s reforms agendas, especially the one relating to making women economically empowered. 

The effort is driven from the notion that nations cannot prosper without including women in nation building process as their role is vital for progress of the country. 

A cursory look into the government reforms programme about economic empowerment of women shows that several key initiatives have been taken to improve the representation of women in the all spheres of life and to uplift the status of women.

The President promulgated an ordinance on women’s property rights in 2019 which later became “Enforcement of Women’s Property Rights Act 2020” and was passed in February 2020.

President Dr. Arif Alivi has launched an intuitive to create public awareness about giving the daughters their due share in the inheritance. The initiative would greatly help in unravelling common practice in Pakistan where daughters are still being denied their due share in the inheritance.

This immoral practice also goes in total contradiction to the Holy Quran, and Surah An-Nisa which clearly states that women are entitled the right of inheritance.

Since the equal and fundamental rights of women are also enshrined in Pakistan’s Constitution, the government is striving hard for the protection and promotion of women rights in all spheres of life. Article 25 of the Constitution which relates to the gender equality and women’ empowerment states that “there shall be no discrimination on the basis of sex.” 

As women in Pakistan account for almost 50 percent of the population, the government deemed it essential to capitalize on the potential of our women populace largely aiming at addressing many issues like gender inequality and poverty. 

Hence the incumbent government of Prime Minister Imran Khan had decided to place special focus on economic empowerment of women and their participation in the democratic process of the country.

The 18th Constitutional Amendment has empowered the provinces to realise women rights and to adopt legislative and policy measures in their respective provinces. 

The women rights framework included national and provincial standing committees, Federal Ministry of Human Rights, National and Provincial Commissions on the Status of Women, Provincial Women Development Departments, Treaty Implementation Cells, Inter Provincial Ministerial Group, CEDAW Committees, Women Protection Centres, Women Police Stations and help lines.

Consequently, the provincial governments are also taking actions to protect and promote women’s rights and, in this regard, the government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa developed an Empowerment Policy Framework in 2015 and subsequently established Gender Mainstreaming Steering Committees.

The Punjab Women Empowerment Package was established in 2012. Baluchistan is in the process of developing a gender policy and Sindh’s Gender Equality and Women Empowerment Policy 2019 is in its final stages.

Pakistan commemorates International Women’s Day, Rural Women’s Day, National Working Women’s Day, Girl Child Day, Human Rights Day, and the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence. 

The government has also shown strong resolve to comply with international commitments and religious obligations and as a result significant progress to protect women’s rights by making certain laws and creating awareness among people has been achieved.

The Ehsaas Programme seeks to create precision safety nets to support the economic empowerment of women, through tools such as big data and technology to promote financial inclusion and access to digital services.   Recently, the Ministry of Human Rights launched an innovative campaign to spread messages for girl’s education and empowerment through truck art.