UN Women, KP government sign MoU to take forward gender equality agenda

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Chief Minister KP reiterates government’s commitment to empower vulnerable groups

PESHAWAR: Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), Mr. Mahmood Khan on Tuesday reiterated his government’s commitment to mainstream and empower vulnerable and excluded segments of society and accelerate the implementation process of Women Empowerment Policy 2017 in all parts of the province including tribal districts.

He was addressing a ceremony at the Women Crisis Centre Peshawar where UN Women, a United Nations entity for gender equality and empowerment of women, and Social Welfare, Special Education, Women Empowerment Department (SWWED) of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to support implementation of women empowerment policy in the province.

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Women Empowerment Policy was developed with the technical support of UN Women in 2017 and unanimously passed the same year by the Provincial Assembly. The policy focuses on social inclusion, political participation and empowerment, access to justice, and economic empowerment of women.

The Chief Minister said, “The Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa recognizes the need for eradicating gender-based violence, and to achieve this, the Department of Social Welfare in collaboration with UN Women is determined to provide protection to women as well as empower them.” He also talked about the recently approved, by the provincial cabinet, provincial ombudsperson for women protection as a key step towards ending violence against women.

Deputy Country Representative UN Women, Ms. Aisha Mukhtar, during her address, acknowledged the government’s efforts for the empowerment of women in the province. Talking about UN Women’s longstanding partnership with the Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for drafting and launching of the women empowerment policy, she reaffirmed UN Women’s support to every effort towards making lives of disadvantaged and excluded groups – survivors of gender-based violence, women with disabilities, and transgenders – better. “We are keen to take our collaboration forward for an effective implementation of the policy in line with the Strategic Development Goals (SDGs) and the key principle of leaving no one behind.”

According to the MOU, UN Women will provide technical support for the implementation of Women Empowerment Policy the province to enhance mechanisms and strategies for the protection and economic empowerment of women. UN Women will also help the provincial government enhance capacity of service delivery mechanisms for strengthening support and services provided to survivors of violence against women.

Earlier, in his welcome remarks, Provincial Secretary SWWED Mr. Muhammad Idrees thanked the Chief Minister and UN Women for extending cooperation for an effective implementation of the women empowerment policy. He hoped that the MOU will help in improving the condition of women in the province. Later, the Chief Minister and Deputy Country Representative UN Women visited the center and distributed gifts among women.

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