BISP held first women empowerment conference
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) organized first Women Empowerment Conference at capital city of Islamabad on Sunday to draw a framework for strengthening women, by helping them to play pro-active role in society.
Addressing participants of the conference, Chairperson BISP, Marvi Memon said the main focus is to take BISP beneficiaries committees (BBCs) on one platform to replicate international successful women empowerment programmes in the country. In this regard, she said all the concerned quarters will be taken on board to achieve the objective. During the brainstorming session, the participants appreciated the efforts of BISP for poor women of the country and gave their invaluable inputs. It was discussed that BISP may coordinate with the organizations which are already undertaking projects of women empowerment. Through this coordination, financial and educational support to women may be initiated. The institutional coordination may be made successful by social mobilization and promoting the concept of women leaders.
It was also discussed that the areas, in which beneficiaries have abundance of certain products like milk and dates, may be identified. These beneficiaries may be connected to the markets and a market place may also be allocated for them where they can showcase their products for sale.
Another idea focused on demand-driven solutions to the problems of beneficiary women. This idea highlighted the role of BISP Beneficiary Committees (BBCs). The feedback of women included in BBCs on their problems may help to design projects which can address their issues related to education, health and finances.
A project “Zero Hunger Programme” under National Rural Support Programme (NRSP) also came under discussion. NRSP is already using data of BISP for carrying out its projects. It was discussed that the engagement of NRSP with BISP may be enhanced to achieve the desired results as NRSP has technical training institutes at Tehsil level and for this purpose socially viable and gender sensitive interventions can be introduced. The participants of the conference included Senator Rubina Khalid (PPP), MNAs Ayesha (JI) and Naeema Kishwar Khan (JUI-F), Dr. Zeba A. Sathar member of BISP board and Country Director of Population Council, Fatima Naqvi (DFID), Saba Khatak and Gul Najam Jami from World Bank, Masooma Butt from WHO, Gillian McFarland (UNICEF), Zulfiqar Rao and Sultan Mehmood from WFP, Khawar Mumtaz Chairperson National Commission on status of women, Dr. Nabeela Shahid and Saira Bano from NRSP, Sarwat Tahira Habib, Chief Collector Customs North, Mrs. Raana Seerat Chief Commissioner LTU, Anjum Asad Amin Additional Secretary Economic Affairs Division, Farzana Bari Professor Quaid-e-Azam university and social activist and Nudrat Gillani.