UN Women – United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women

UN Women – United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women

Asia and the Pacific

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:

  1. An enabling environment to translate, monitor and report on implementation of gender equality and women’s empowerment commitments
  2. Gender responsive plans, policies and systems of governance with institutions being more accessible to and delivering equally for women and girls
  3. An environment where women benefit from decent work, income security and socio-economic development
  4. 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


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


Iqra's story

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.



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

Photo: UN Women/Anam Abbas

The UK and UN launch Aawaz II — programme to empower and protect Pakistan’s youth, women and children

Thursday, May 24, 2018

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

Faria Salman, Head of Communications, Strategic Management & Partnerships Unit, UN Women signing in support of the new initiative of Women’s Economic Empowerment in Pakistan. Photo: P&G Pakistan

P&G announces a new initiative for Women’s Economic Empowerment in Pakistan

Monday, May 14, 2018

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

Photo: UN Women/Saman Ahsan

The Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa launches transport service for women in selected cities of KPK Province as funded by the Government of Japan and implementing partners UNOPS Country Office in Pakistan and UN Women

Monday, May 14, 2018

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Transport and Mass Transit Department has launched the ‘Sakura Women Bus Service’ with financial assistance from the Government of Japan along with technical implementing partnership with UNOPS and UN Women. With the aim of providing a public transport service safe to women and girls, a total of 14 buses have been procured. 7 buses will be allocated to each of the two districts of Mardan and Abbottabad. Although the... more

A theatre group does a performance on treating sons and daughters equally, at the 8 March event. Photo: UN Women/Anam Abbas

Radio and volunteerism empowers marginalized women in remote communities of Pakistan

Thursday, April 5, 2018

A joint radio project by UN Women and United Nations Volunteers is empowering both the volunteers who create the programmes and the marginalized communities that tune in. The "Community-focused Radio Project" engages women and youths in Quetta's Hazara and Khaizi communities in producing and broadcasting entertainment, informational and educational programmes for their communities. Participants in the 8 March celebration show their support... more

Rural women from Tharparkar in Sindh Province ring the bell at the Pakistan Stock Exchange. Photo: UN Women/Faria Salman

UN Women, World Bank and Women on Board Pakistan ring the bell at Pakistan's Stock Exchange to call for gender diversity

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

The Pakistan Stock Exchange, for the second year in a row, marked International Women's Day in a befitting manner. The exchange gave its floor to three leading gender diversity promoting organizations – UN Women, World Bank and Women on Board Pakistan – to "Ring the Bell" to support the cause of women's inclusiveness and equality in the business world... more


UN Women in Pakistan

Monday, June 11, 2018

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

Women's Safety Audit in Public Transport in Lahore

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

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

Cover: Trailblazers for Justice and Ending Violence Against Women in Balochistan

Trailblazers for Justice and Ending Violence Against Women in Balochistan

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

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

Status Report on Womens Economic Participation and Empowerment


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

United Nations Pakistan Newsletter


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

Timeline: Gender Equality in Review
Pakistan Country Office 2014


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

Featured publication

Status Report on Womens Economic Participation and Empowerment

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 micro and macroeconomic policies... View/Download

United Nations Pakistan - Magazine 2/2017

The second issue of the United Nations Pakistan magazine for 2017 focuses on women’s empowerment. Following International Women’s Day 2017, celebrated across the globe and in Pakistan. Read more

Interview with H.E. Dr. Meher Taj Roghani

In her address H.E. Dr. Meher Taj Roghani pledged to ensure equality and empowerment for all women and girls saying: “This Country owes debt to girls and women for their resilience.” With your new appointment, as a female role model for democracy, could you... more

Giant Step for Humankind

UN Women welcomes the passage of the Protection of Women against Violence Bill 2015 by the Punjab Assembly on 24 February 2016. The introduction of this bill, which is arguably among the strongest pieces of legislation to ... more


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Planet 50–50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality