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Ehsaas and NCSW join hands for welfare of women and girls

Pakistan’s Ehsaas is the only program worldwide offering higher stipend amount to girls compared to boys: Sania

Commemorating sixteen days of activism campaign against gender-based violence, the event titled, ‘Humein Ehsaas Hai Khwateen Ka” was held today under the umbrella of Ehsaas. Senator Dr. Sania Nishtar, SAPM on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation was the chief guest on the occassion.

The event was co-organzied by Ehsaas, National Commission on the Status of Women (NCSW) and Quaid -e-Azam University. Nilofer Bakhtiar, Chairperson, National Commission on the Status of Women (NCSW); Dr. Ismat Tahira, Secretary BISP; Arif Anwar Baloch, Secretary NCSW; and Professor Dr. Muhammad Ali, Vice Chanellor Quaid-e-Azam University also graced the occasion.

In his welcome address Prof. Dr. Muhamamd Ali said financial and economic empowerment of women can ensure gender equality. He said that women still face discrimination and exploitation in our rural areas and we can end this menace by creating awareness. The Vice Chancellor said that at Quaid-e-Azam University, girl students are playing a very effective role in academic and extra-curricular activities.

Addressing the occasion, Dr. Sania said, “Gender-based violence is not acceptable at any level and it should be stopped for the development of society and economy. Our government is fully committed to empowering its women. Ensuring sustainable women empowerment, Ehsaas fifty percent plus rule is squarely embedded in all Ehsaas initiatives including Ehsaas cash transfers, Ehsaas undergraduate scholarships, Ehsaas interest free loans and Ehsaas Amdan asset transfers. Currently, Ehsaas is also ensuring financial inclusion of 8 million Ehsaas Kafaalat beneficiaries through the provision of bank accounts; the entire process will be complete in six months.”

She also reiterated that education is essential for the socio-economic empowerment of girls and women. “Ehsaas is the only programme worldwide that offers a higher stipend amount for girls compared to boys under its conditional cash transfer (CCT) programmes; Ehsaas School Stipends and Ehsaas Nashonuma”, she highlighted further. Dr. Sania also applauded the collaboration between NCSW and Ehsaas and expressed hope that this event will lead to longstanding and meaningful women empowerment centric partnership in the coming days.

In the opening remarks, Chairperson NCSW, Nilofar Bakhtiar expressed her joy at being back at Quaid-e-Azam University where she briefly studied during her academic career. She went on to share a brief historical perspective of 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence and explained how this violence is the most pervasive and least convicted crime in the world. She also appreciated the efforts of Ehsaas programme in their unyielding efforts for uplifting the women in Pakistan. She also encouraged participants to make commitments for ending violence against women and motivated all students to enthusiastically chant the slogan ‘”End Violence Against Women NOW”.

Inspiring the participants, girl recipients of Ehsaas Undergraduate scholarships also narrated their stories about how Ehsaas had enabled them and their families to pursue their higher studies.
The event was widely attended by senior officials of Ehsaas, government officials, development partners, awardees of Ehsaas undergraduate scholarships, faculty and students of Quaid-e-Azam University, and women and girls from all walks of life.