MINISTER for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar has said the government would adopt a gender roadmap to achieve equality.
He was speaking at a meeting where a draft gender roadmap was presented proposing gender integration across all national policies, programmes, offices and key management processes.
The final gender roadmap is a key product emerging from months-long nation-wide iterative consultations engaging the National Youth Council, academicians, subject experts, national task forces, youth voices from across the globe, government officials and development partners. Several high-impact interventions were discussed to mainstream gender across all key priorities.
It is not yet fully known what would be the final shape of the roadmap but during the discussions packages of high-impact strategic interventions were proposed keeping in view the challenges to inform mindful investment in closing the gender gap and creating equitable opportunities for women and girls.
We may, however, point out that the goal of general equality must not be seen just in the context of education and employment as there are many other issues like malnutrition (of girls), inheritance, access to quality health services, early and forced marriages, honour killing, domestic violence, verbal abuse, and harassment.
No doubt, in most parts of the country, now there is greater realization on the part of parents to educate and empower their daughters but there are still many pockets where women are not treated in a dignified manner and in some areas they are even barred from casting their votes.
Women constitute more than half of the population and it is understood that the country cannot make progress without allowing them to play their full role in the process of nation building.
We welcome the direction of the Minister for a comprehensive proposal for dedicated transport facilities for young females for accessing educational and employment opportunities and hope that similar proposals would be formulated in other areas to make women productive part of the society.