KARACHI: Bargad – a national level organization working on youth development – in collaboration with Baharia University and Oxfam Pakistan, held a seminar on “Engaging Youth for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)” in Karachi.
400 students participated in this seminar which was organised to provide orientation and awareness to youth about the SDGs specifically in the context of Pakistan. The topics that were brought into discussion revolved around two specific goals of SDGs, which were, Goal 5, (Gender Equality) and Goal 16 (Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions), respectively. The seminar was a part of Bargad and Oxfam’s nationwide campaign on SDGs, which involves a series of similar seminars to be held in 12 universities all across Pakistan.
The panellists of the seminar included Baharia University Management Sciences Dean Dr Farooq-e-Azam Cheema, Karachi Institute of Economics and Technology (KIET) professor Dr Amir Feroz Shamsi, Baharia University assistant professor Mansoor Zakir, Baharia University assistant professor Essa Khan and consultant and researcher in development Saima Jasam. It was moderated by Ms Salma Butt.
Essa Khan, on behalf of the Baharia University, welcomed the Bargad team and Oxfam Pakistan.
The panellists shed light on specific SDGs relevant to their work in the context of Pakistan and made presentations, followed by a discussion with the students.
Ms Saima Jasam, while giving the overall history and background of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), said SDGs are a universal set of 17 goals with 169 targets, which all the UN member states, including Pakistan, are expected to use in framing their national development agendas.
While talking about Pakistan’s overall performance, she said that Pakistan was ranked at number 122 in the SDGs Index of 2017, and urged the students to take it seriously and contribute in meeting the targets for achieving these goals by 2030.
Students of Baharia University also shared their perspective on SDGs and talked about how they can be engaged in the development process and help the government in meeting the target for achieving these goals.
Dr Amir Feroz Shamsi gave his talk on goal 16 of the SDG which is Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions. He said that for him peace included freedom from any kind of disturbance like homicide, harassment, violence against any gender, physical punishment and even psychological aggression.
Mansoor Zakir gave his presentation on goal 5 of SDGs which is Gender Equality. He said that gender inequality existed in Pakistan and many other countries. He further stated that in order to have equal rights, Pakistan required a proper legal framework, and along with that, it needed to work on changing the discriminatory attitudes and mindset.
He further said that gender inequalities existed in the developing countries as well where women were not paid the same wages as men for the same work. He said that very few women reach the top positions and there had been no women to become prime minister or president in the top three economies like the United States (US), China and Japan.
Dr Farooq-Azam Cheema thanked Bargad team and Oxfam Pakistan for organising the event.