Professor Ahsan Iqbal, the federal minister for planning, development, and special initiatives stated that women are essential to any nation’s growth and that when they are not given equal chances nation’s development is slow.

According to a press release posted, the Minister made these comments while speaking at the 19th Inter-Provincial Ministerial Group (IPMG) meeting, which was hosted by the National Commission on the Status of Women (NCSW) and UN Women in association with the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL) of the US Department of State.

Speaking at the event, the minister noted that although Islam grants women equal rights, these rights have tragically been misunderstood.

According to Ahsan Iqbal, the Planning Commission has created a Gender Unit within the ministry, where all development projects will be developed in accordance with gender responsiveness principles. This will prevent projects from being authorized without considering the interests of women.

The minister claimed that various initiatives aimed at empowering women had been included in vision 2025. Similar actions were followed during the recovery from the most recent floods.

Understanding the data architecture at the national and provincial levels and finalizing the data collection methods for the National Gender Data Portal were the goals of the 19th IPMG meeting (NGDP).

The Chairperson of NCSW, Nilofar Bakhtiar, welcomed the attendees and stated, “The Global Gender Gap Report shows Pakistan has closed the gender gap by 56.4% but still ranks us at second lowest from the bottom. Knowing our current situation is crucial when creating laws, regulations, and quotas to effect change.”

According to Sharmeela Rassool, Country Representative for UN Women Pakistan Country Office, “IPMG is an innovative platform for identifying solutions that are tailored for Pakistan.” She stressed the significance of reliable data for the growth of the nation and for gender equality. One illustration of such a solution is the NGDP. Data is crucial because it aids in detecting policy gaps and enables decision-making by officials.

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