islamabad - On the special directives of Prime Minister, 50 per cent participation of women was ensured in PM’s Youth Loan schemes for women empowerment.

Pakistan is committed to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Goal 5 i.e. Gender Equality; Ending all forms of discrimination against women and girls and for the purpose the government has taken a number of steps. Encouraging women employment it has announced a 10 per cent quota for women in public sector employment; Punjab raised this to 15 per cent and Sindh to 25 per cent during the year 2016-17.

According to Economic Survey 2016-17, Punjab has lifted the ban on recruitment and 25,000 posts for women have been created at different tiers, and 70 percent of jobs in primary education have been earmarked for women. Moreover, Punjab Fair Representation of Women Act 2014 ensures 33 percent representation of women on all boards of statutory bodies, public sector companies etc. The Waseela-e-Sehat (Life and Health Insurance) programs under Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP), subsidizes healthcare for beneficiaries and life insurance provided to one million women, the premium is paid by the program.

Waseela-Taleem (Primary Education) under BISP encourages beneficiary families to send their children ages 5-12 years to school through a co-responsibility cash transfer of Rs200 per child (limit to three per family).

Being a state party to the Convention on Elimination of All

Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), Pakistan is committed to implement its provisions in true spirit. The government has already taken measures to ensure women’s right as envisaged in the CEDAW.

Acknowledging `honour’ killings one of the most critical problems facing the country, the present government has enacted effective legislation to address women’s issues with a view to safeguard their rights i.e. (Criminal Law (Amendment) (Offences in the name or pretext of Honour) Act, 2016) and (Criminal Law (Amendment) (Offences Relating to Rape), 2016). The women are being encouraged to fully participate in electoral process and in this regard a Gender Cell in Election Commission of Pakistan has been established.