Population Council shares findings of pilot study conducted in 3 districts in Punjab


37pc of 6m girls between 15 and 19
out-of-school: Report

Zubair Qureshi

More efforts are required to provide marketable skills to adolescent girls and connect them to viable jobs so that they can be empowered and find good livable opportunities in their surroundings.
This was stated by Member National Assembly (MNA) and Parliamentary Secretary, Planning Development & Reform Kanwal Shauzab at the launch of a study titled ‘Adolescent Girls Voices on Enhancing their Own Productivity in Pakistan.’
The report was launched by Population Council with support from the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) at Marriott here Friday.
The report examines the lives, aspirations, and perspectives of the largely invisible and marginalized group of older adolescent girls (ages 15–19 years) who are “not in education, employment for pay or profit, nor in marriage”. The study was conducted in three districts of Punjab: Rajanpur, Faisalabad and Kasur.
Girls’ empowerment, said the Parliamentary Secretary started from provision of quality education which largely hinged upon provision of conducive environment in schools which are well-equipped with clean bathrooms, safe boundary walls and other necessities. Earlier, in her welcome remarks Country Representative, UNICEF Aida Girma reaffirmed UNICEF’s role to work with the government of Pakistan in ensuring that no child is left behind as far as education is concerned. She also highlighted the greater need for empowering girls in Pakistan by providing them better opportunities at education and employment.
Dr Zeba Sathar, Country Director, Population Council in her introductory remarks said the study shed light on the circumstances, hopes and possibilities for adolescent girls between 15 to 19 years of age. There is a need to empower those more than 5 million adolescent girls to fulfill their own potential and also as a necessity for reaping the demographic dividend.