PESHAWAR: The US Agency for International Development (USAID) and a local NGO called Pak Women supported the women parliamentary caucus (WPC) of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) to pass through the KP Assembly three landmark resolutions that will facilitate and empower women while providing them broader opportunities to earn a living.
The three Resolutions, titled ‘Inclusion of subjects/skills like commerce, science, technology and IT etc. for development/mainstreaming of women’; ‘Increase of women job quota from 10 to 15 per cent to provide jobs to women and make them economically independent’; and ‘Declaration of maternal deaths is notifiable’ were drafted in August 2017 through the USAID-funded Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governance (KPG) project and were tabled for the assembly’s review and concurrence in January 2018.
Following the assembly’s approval, letters of instructions were issued to the social welfare and women development department, the agriculture, livestock and dairy department, and the health department for the implementation of these resolutions within two months.
MPA and WPC Chairperson Meraj Humayun said, “These resolutions are a precursor to legislation and will bring long-standing issues into immediate focus. The resolutions will open the way for improvements in the overall environment if the departments are made more gender sensitive and supportive to female issues.”
The successful passage and unanimous political support for these critical resolutions will bring the province into alignment with the universal declaration of human rights, and a step closer to making sustainable development goal on gender equality a reality.
MPA and member of the women caucus Amna Sardar termed these resolutions a giant leap in the direction of the emancipation of women. “Without USAID support, these would not have seen the light of the day. These [resolutions] will definitely enhance and affect women participation in other departments too,” she said.
Pak Women CEO Azra Gul praised USAID’s support and said, “KP’s economy is dependent 70 per cent on agriculture for its revenue and contribution to the country’s gross domestic product and per capita income. Therefore, increased participation of women in the agriculture sector will greatly contribute to the country’s GDP.”