Published Date: Mar 10, 2021
SDPI Press Release : Speakers term gender-equality crucial to respond health and other developmental challenges
Speakers term gender-equality crucial to respond health and other developmental challenges
Islamabad: (March 10, 2020). Several systemic issues persist in Pakistan pertaining gender-inequality, however, the positive steps including pro-women legislation in recent years gives a strong hope of a more inclusive society. The Canadian government, as part of its approach for supporting international development, continuously pushing forward the agenda of promoting socio-economic empowerment amongst the women and girls. The pandemic Covid-19 has worsened the access of women in Pakistan to health and reproductive health facilities. Therefore, we are supporting the efforts to analyze these effects on women and girls and the corresponding measures to reduce this gap accordingly. Mr Christopher King, Head of Development Cooperation, Canadian High Commission to Pakistan Said this while sharing his views with the participants of webinar ‘Choose to challenge’ held by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), in connection with International Women’s Day.
Mr King said that “Our commitments are not just based on values, but the evidence show empowerment and leadership of women has been a key in improving socio-economic indicators of a society.” Therefore, our all policies regarding international development cooperation are deigned with the gender-lens, He added.
Senator Ayesha Raza Farooq, while drawing the parallels between the campaign for Polio vaccination and Covid-19 vaccination, informed the participants that women, especially lady health workers played highly instrumental role in taking the vaccine to highly conservative and hard to reach areas in Polio vas-vaccination campaign. These brave women also played important role in creating acceptance for the vaccine amongst the masses.
Ms Farooq emphasized that we need to enhance the participation of women at decision to policy-making levels and thus to benefit every segment of society for women being more empathetic leaders. Besides endorsement from political leaders, religious and other influential of society and thus building trust for Covid-19 vaccination, giving women a key role in the campaign would yield highly positive dividends, she concluded.
Public Health Policy Analyst, Dr Nadia Waqar was of view that the society in Pakistan is quite susceptible for the conspiracy theories and like it was the case with Polio vaccination, creating trust for Covid-19 vaccination would remain on of the major challenges. She added further that the sensitivity about the pandemic is lacking in the society and therefore, massive awareness campaigns would play crucial role in creating acceptance for the vaccine.
To create gender equality, she said, a multi-sectoral approach is the need of hour and thus, we may integrate the policies on nutrition, health, and education, especially for women and girls to respond to existing gaps. She said that women specific needs, including in the face of pandemic situation, are being identified and efforts are being made through various interventions planned by the government to respond to these needs.
Dr Abid Qaiyum Suleri, Executive Director, SDPI, while summing up the discussion said that the most pertinent question of the hour is that how not only women, but the sensitized men could work together to create gender-equality and to take this sensitizing to others as well.
“Working together is the only way to create the real impact of gender-equality and thus, it is time to enhance collaborated efforts at every level in this regard,” Dr Suleri added.