Govt to lift 7 million women out of abject poverty: Sania Nishtar
ISLAMABAD – Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) Dr. Sania Nishtar on Monday said that the government was committed to lift seven million underprivileged women out of abject poverty enabling them to utilize their abilities as a productive citizen.
In a message Dr. Sania Nishtar said,“A country cannot thrive when half of its population is not educated and unable to fulfill their potentials. Therefore, at its core, Ehsaas program aims to lift the 7 million poorest women in Pakistan out of poverty and help them to achieve their potential.”
She said, “Ehsaas program is a pioneering anti-poverty program in the country that aims to change this reality and ensure that all women, irrespective of their background, have the opportunity to succeed. There are currently over 250 policies under the umbrella of Ehsaas, many of which are designed to specifically target women.”
This International Women’s Day 2021, Ehsaas celebrated the destitute women and girls from lagging areas of Pakistan and their efforts in shaping a post-COVID inclusive Pakistan.
Foundational to Ehsaas is the realization that it is critically important to ensure that the programme is responsive to needs of women in the country. Hence, the socio-economic transformation of women is ensured through Ehsaas 50%+ benefits policy in its entirety.
Ehsaas encompasses several programmes and initiatives- Ehsaas Kafaalat, Ehsaas Waseela-e-Taleem Digital, Ehsaas Nashonuma, Ehsaas Interest Free Loan, Ehsaas Amdan and Ehsaas Undergraduate Scholarship targeted towards women, across a plethora of domains including financial empowerment, poverty graduation, education, healthcare, policy and digital inclusion. Aiming to enroll and benefit 7 million deserving women by June 2021, the Ehsaas Kafaalat provides a monthly stipend of Rs. 2,000 along with saving bank account to the most destitute women, regardless of religion, race, or ethnicity. In 2020, during COVID-19 pandemic, Ehsaas delivered 54% emergency cash to women.
Through Ehsaas Interest Free Loans programme in the National Poverty Graduation Initiative, 45% women beneficiaries have been provided opportunities to build microenterprises. With 50% scholarships reserved for girls, Ehsaas Undergraduate Scholarship programme provides 200,000 need and merit-based scholarship over 4 years.
Also, enabling 200,000 households and 1.4 million individuals to graduate out of poverty under the 4-year Ehsaas Amdan program, 60% of small income generating assets had been allocated for women. In Waseela-e-Taleem Digital and Ehsaas Nashonuma programmes, conditional cash transfers are being made to mothers and these include a higher stipend amount for girls PKR 2,000 for girls and PKR 1,500 for boys. To ensure that women beneficiaries are not underrepresented, Ehsaas 50% plus benefits policy is fully skewed towards women, by ensuring that at least 50% of all beneficiaries targeted across the programme are women.