PR No. 196 BISP AND UN WOMEN INK AN MOU ON WOMEN EMPOWERMENT AND GENDER EQUALITY Islamabad: November 22, 2016
Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP), the custodian of more than 5.3 million vulnerable women and their families, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) on expanding social protection coverage through improvement in women empowerment and gender equality.
The MoU was signed by the Country Representative UN Women Mr Jamshed Kazi and DG BISP Mr. Shahid Gul Qureshi in the presence of Minister of State and Chairperson BISP MNA Marvi Memon.
Under this MoU, both partners will take on joint ventures related to gender equality, Violence against Women (VAW), Women Economic Empowerment (WEE), women leadership and social reconstruction. BISP beneficiaries will be linked to relevant UN Women projects to benefit from its social protection services. BISP and UN women will launch joint campaigns for commemoration of key international days on women rights and spread awareness on key women empowerment subjects in BISP population. This cooperation will leverage community outreach, resources and technical expertise in gender equality contributing towards closing of gender gap to bring transformative changes in the lives of women.
Addressing the signing ceremony, Chairperson BISP stated that BISP is a social safety net with prime focus on financial inclusion of women and the only central point for women empowerment in the entire country. Besides providing cash assistance to 5.3 million women, BISP is engaged in raising awareness on issues of vital importance among its beneficiary community through the platform of BISP Beneficiary Committees (BBCs). The partnership with UN Women would further strengthen empowerment initiative of BISP that plans to educate BISP women on women rights, nutrition, mother and child health, sanitation, basic finance, entrepreneurship empowering them to make better informed decisions. For women empowerment to become a reality, all concerned organizations would be encouraged to work with BISP to further the gains in this area.
Country Representative, UN Women Pakistan Jamshed Kazi said that as we begin the transition from the Millennium Development Goals to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the main focus in tackling poverty is characterized by the principle of “leaving no one behind”. This means that we must collectively redouble our efforts and go the extra mile to identify and reach the most marginalized segments of society where inequalities are stark with women often bearing the brunt of economic and social deprivation. Forging a partnership with BISP with its millions of the poorest female beneficiaries across the country will generate a catalytic, multiplier effect for UN Women’s ongoing initiatives in Pakistan, such as advancing women’s economic empowerment, tackling gender-based violence in the home and in public spaces, and strengthening women’s leadership and resilience to prepare for and cope with natural disasters and displacement due to conflict and violent extremism. Through this alliance, we firmly believe that we will make significant headway towards removing gender inequalities in Pakistan by 2030.