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
Economic Empowerment of Women Home-Based Workers and Excluded Groups in Pakistan
Women from marginalized social classes face multiple challenges and are often only able to work from home. These women engaged in the informal sector of the economy are called Home-Based Workers (HBWs).
Of the estimated 20 million HBWs in Pakistan, 12 million are women. According to UN Women’s Status Report, 2016 on Women’s Economic Participation and Empowerment in Pakistan, women account for 65 per cent of the PKR 400 billion (USD 2.8 billion) that HBWs contribute to Pakistan’s economy.
However, most receive low wages and are denied legal protection and social security.
To change this, UN Women Pakistan, with support from the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Pakistan, initiated a three-year (2017 – 2020) project ‘Economic Empowerment of Women Home-based Workers and Excluded Groups in Pakistan’.
This documentary explains how women HBWs and members of excluded groups – such as transgenders and women with disabilities – were engaged and benefited from multipronged interventions.
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.
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
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