UN Women Pakistan
Pakistan is the world’s fifth most populous country and the second largest South Asian country.
The sixth Population and Housing Census held in 2017 reveals Pakistan's population has increased by 57 per cent, from 132.3 million in 1998 to 207.7 million. The Census also shows that men have outnumbered women, where men are 51 per cent of the total population and women are 49 per cent.
Pakistan has adopted a number of key international commitments to gender equality and women’s human rights – the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Beijing Platform for Action, the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women, and the Sustainable Development Goals.
National commitments in place include a National Policy for Development and Empowerment of Women, Protection against Harassment of Women at Workplace Act, Criminal Law (Amendment) (Offences in the name or pretext of Honour) Act, Criminal Law (Amendment) (Offences Relating to Rape) and a National Plan of Action on Human Rights. Local commitments adopted include Gender Equality Policy Frameworks and Women’s Empowerment Packages and Initiatives.
Despite these commitments, Pakistan’s ranking for gender equality remains one of the lowest in the world.
With gender equality and women’s empowerment being at the heart of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, UN Women in Pakistan is working with its partners to ensure:
- An enabling environment to translate, monitor and report on implementation of gender equality and women’s empowerment commitments
- Gender responsive plans, policies and systems of governance with institutions being more accessible to and delivering equally for women and girls
- An environment where women benefit from decent work, income security and socio-economic development
- A safe environment where women and girls can live a life free from violence in private and public spaces, and survivors are able to access quality essential services
Principles guiding the work of UN Women in Pakistan are:
- A human rights-based approach and leaving no one behind
- National and local ownership aligned with priorities
- Leveraging mutually reinforcing benefits
- Acting as a catalyst and promoting United Nations coherence
- Accountability for results, transparency and cost effectiveness
In an attempt to root out the social evil of dowry, United Nations (UN) Women Pakistan launched a campaign to address those who indulge in the practice of accepting dowry. “Stop Jahezkhori“, meaning stop the practice of dowry. The phrase is also the official hashtag of UN Pakistan’s campaign.
A henna stencil was designed to engage the audience, influencers, celebrities, civil society activists and government officials, which was put on hands to show solidarity towards ending the practice of dowry and violence related to it.
End Violence against Gender Minorities
“Gender minorities face a higher rate of discrimination and violence than the male and female gender due to social norms and beliefs. Many are deprived of their rights to health care, education, employment, political participation and inheritance. See more: http://bit.ly/2ASwapf
The #Bridal Uniform
“This year’s Bridal Couture Week was much the same as previous years, where bride after bride walked out on the ramp wearing magnificently extravagant outfits. However, right at the end of the bridal week, one specific outfit caught everyone’s attention... Read more
On this International Day of Persons with Disabilities, we give you Iqra’s story. Women with disabilities are more vulnerable to face violence in all its forms; be it physical, emotional, psychological or verbal.
This year’s theme is ‘Transformation towards sustainable and resilient society for all', and at UN Women Pakistan we are committed to increasing our focus on ensuring that women with disabilities are included in all our programmes, especially on economic empowerment, prevention of violence and access to justice.
#BeatMe… I AM UNBEATABLE
Recently launched through social media with a video that features Pakistani women of strength from multiple walks of life, the campaign challenges their counterparts to beat them at their respective expertise, and at the amazing things women have achieved, globally.
The ‘#BeatMe’ campaign juxtaposes every means of abuse against a strength of each woman. Verbal abuse is addressed by challenging men to beat women with their voice and words from the likes of Meesha Shafi (singer) and Sana Bucha (journalist). Read more on #BeatMe
News and stories
Speakers at the National Dialogue on Women in Science unanimously stressed the need to rapid increase in the opportunities and participation of women and girls in science if the country wanted to achieve Sustainable Development Goals. UNESCO in partnership with UNWOMEN, Pakistan Alliance for Maths and Science and Lahore College for Women University (LCWU) organized this two-day National Dialogue on Women in Science concluded late Tuesday... more
UN Women Executive Director, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, started her first official visit to Pakistan today, as part of her travels during the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence . The visit aims to bolster the gender equality agenda in the country... more
Making one of Pakistan’s most impoverished districts the first stop of her first official visit to the country, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka today called upon the entire community to end child marriages and voice their commitment to change the lives of girls and young women for the better. “Choosing when and who to marry is one of life’s most... more
Tractors and dump trucks busily transporting material for a coal-fired power plant bustle amid the softly sweeping sand dunes of the sprawling Thar desert, in the province of Sindh, Pakistan. Powering her orange dump truck, Rukhsana, 37, seems unstoppable in making a mark in this male-dominated field: “Through this driving training, I gained the strength and courage to face the world. Initially, I got a lot of criticism... more
RUN Women Pakistan, a United Nations organization dedicated to gender equality and empowerment of women, and Handicap International entered into a partnership to work together to increase the recognition of persons with disabilities (PWDs) as rights holders, decrease vulnerability, stigma and discrimination associated with disability, increase the capacity of Disable Persons Organizations (DPOs) to help them generate evidence and engage in protecting... more
Rural women play a key role not only in ensuring income and food security for their households, but also in improving livelihoods and overall well-being in their communities. But their work is under-valued and they face big barriers in improving their own lives. On 19 July, UN Women Pakistan, in collaboration with National Commission on the Status of Women and supported by Canadian High Commission, released Rural Women in Pakistan: Status... more
Farming is all that I know, my only source of income. I first began working in the fields with my father when I was 10 years old and after that with my husband, to whom I was married off when I was 13. I became a widow nearly three years ago and have to support eight children—seven daughters and one son. I was landless with no entitlement to the crops or land where I work. It is really hard work especially the harsh summers we face. Being a woman... more
United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) will provide £ 17.25 million to the United Nations (UN) in Pakistan to implement a five-year (2018-22) programme, AAWAZ II, which will Empower and Protect Pakistan’s Youth, Women, Girls and Boys who are too often exploited and too often left behind. An agreement to this effect was signed today between Ms. Joanna Reid, Head of DFID... more
Procter & Gamble (P&G) announced the launch of its latest Gender Equality initiative under the P&G #WeSeeEqual program at a formal ceremony held in Karachi, reinforcing its commitment to contribute towards the economic empowerment of women in the country. Through its social cause programs, P&G has partnered with Health Oriented Preventive... more
Pakistan's population has increased 57 per cent, from 132.3 million in 1998 to 207.7 million in 2017, making Pakistan the world’s 5th most populous country and the 2nd largest South Asian country. As we witness a building momentum across the world and in Pakistan calling to end discrimination, while creating an enabling and lasting environment in which women and girls can realise their full potential, this 5-year Country Profile (2018-2022) provides... more
The Women’s Safety Audit in Public Transport in Lahore assesses the safety concerns of women and girls using public transport in Lahore. It identifies factors that may increase the chances of violence against women and girls at bus stops and on buses. It gauges the factors responsible for harassment, including sexual harassment in public spaces, with a focus on public transport. The study was conducted by the Aurat Foundation and co-led by the Women’s Development Department (WDD)... more
UN Women is working with national and provincial counterparts to strengthen rule of law institutions for enhancing women’s access to justice. Under the inception phase project “Strengthening the Rule of Law and Improving Access to Justice, FATA and Balochistan”, UN Women aims to analyse Rule of Law institutions and justice mechanisms from gender perspective, enhance institutional capacities and advocate for policy/legal reforms in Balochistan and FATA... more
The concept of women’s economic empowerment (WEE) combines “economic advancement” and “agency” (the power to make choices and decisions for one-self), which are in turn shaped by individual and community resources and by norms and institutions. In Pakistan social vulnerability juxtaposed with economic vulnerability keeps women underpaid and overworked, even when they overcome structural and social barriers to seek employment. The near invisibility of women in... more
Issue 1/2016 - In this issue: (*) Focus on Transforming slums into thriving communities. (*) Addressing the challenge of under-resourced urban settlements – A top priority. (*) Making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable. (*) Guiding urban development in Pakistan. (*) Everyone’s dream is to live in cities without slums – Achieving sustainable urbanization... more
A South-South cooperation of all eight South Asian countries placed the role of women in elections and political processes, including their leadership in decision-making on the agenda both at the national and regional levels. This exchange successfully brought out commonalities of problems faced by women in their political empowerment, and their underlying drivers... more