ISLAMABAD: Policymakers and youngsters came together on Thursday to celebrate the achievements of Pakistani youth and exchanged ideas for improving their access to education, health and economic opportunities. Panelists at Oxfam in Pakistan’s national event titled ‘Celebrating Youth across Pakistan’, organised to mark the International Youth Day, recognised that 131.1 million Pakistanis are under the age of thirty and they continue to be systematically excluded from civic participation, and are often unable to access services and opportunities.
The panel included policymakers, academicians, and representatives from the government’s youth affairs’ departments, entrepreneurs and members of the civil society.
In his welcome remarks, Oxfam in Pakistan’s Country Director Mohammed Qazilbash said, “Working for the rights of young people is a key priority of Oxfam and a consistent feature across its programmes.”
“Youth are the agents of their future and only by channeling their energy, creativity and talent towards addressing the multiple inequalities they face, will we be able to build a fairer world.” he added.
He reiterated Oxfam’s commitment towards supporting young girls in becoming leaders, and ensuring that their role, in the society, is valued and recognized.
Punjab Youth Affairs Department Deputy Secretary Tehmina Habib shed light on government’s policies. Discussing the status of ‘economic reforms for youth’, entrepreneurs in the panel called for more youth-friendly schemes which create economic opportunities for them.
“An estimated four million youngsters enter the workforce each year. It is about time that we address the barriers, which prevent aspiring entrepreneurs, from taking the first step towards entrepreneurship as a career. Promoting this should be an important priority for the country’s economic development,” the panel members discussed.