Govt to increase job quota for women
SIALKOT: Secretary Punjab Commission on Status of Women Muhammad Usman has said the government is committed to provide equal opportunities for development of all citizens particularly women.
Addressing a function held in connection with ‘International Women Days’ with the theme “Women in the Changing World of Work: Plant 50/50 by 2030” was organised by Baidarie Sialkot and UN WOMEN country office Islamabad here last evening, he said the government’s commitment for the advancement of women clearly manifests itself through promulgation of the protection against harassment of women at workplace act 2010 and 2012, the Punjab Protection of Women against Violence Act 2016 formation and functioning of the Punjab Commission on the status of women, he said.
He said special quota for women in job opportunities at government offices is being increased from 5 to 15 percent of the total lot.
Speaking on the occasion Jamshed M Kazi country representative UN WOMEN said UN WOMEN aims to empower women to be owner of their own destiny and enable them to lead their lives in a self-reliant way in social, economic and political terms.
He appreciated Sialkot based corporate sector to be forward looking and progressive in providing job opportunities to women in a non-discriminate, harassment free and gender responsive environment. He referred to the fact that 17 leading industrial setups in Sialkot have already signed CEO statement of pursuance to “Women Empowerment Principles”. He made a special reference to Benetton supported project “Empowerment of women garment workers in Sialkot” and hoped that it will link 1,500 women workers to job opportunities in the formal sector after equipping them skill training relevant to the needs and requirements of the industry.
Addressing the function Arshid Mehmood Mirza Executive Director Baidarie stated that according to the Punjab Development Statistics more than 51 percent and 48 percent women constitute the population in the province. Gender inequality index rates Pakistan standing at 122 of the global ranking. According to UNDP, women workforce’s participation rate in Pakistan stands at 22 percent. All these indicators not only tell the story of the deprivations of Pakistani women but also reinforce the need of special paying focused attention for taking up meticulously designed initiatives which may tangibly lead to socioeconomic empowerment of women.
He stated that as of now 1,534 corporate entities have signed “Women Empowerment Principles” jointly framed by UN WOMEN and UN Global Compact. Nineteen (19) business concerns in Pakistan have so far signed these principles and 17 out of these are from Sialkot.
He added that in the near future, 15 more business entities in Sialkot will become signatory to the women empowerment principles.
President Baidarie Hina Noureen while addressing the function said that an overwhelming majority of women workers is engaged with the informal sector of economy and share double burden of completing job related assignments and taking care of domestic duties.
Hina added that in collaboration with UN WOMEN and the support provided by Benetton, Baidarie is implementing the project titled “Empowerment of women garment workers in Sialkot.” The project will not only succeed in enabling 1,500 trained women workers to get jobs in garment/textile sector industrial units in Sialkot but will also set trends to open the job market for women for pacing the process of their economic empowerment. She demanded that govt should immediately proceed to provide social protection coverage of the women workers as well. This sort of coverage is legally available to the dependent families of the men workers but women workers are not so privileged till now.
The ceremony was largely attended by women workers, govt. officials, legal fraternity, academia, intelligentsia, political and social activists, trade union functionaries, religious leaders, civil society organizations and media.
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