Call for putting Girls, Women at Centre of Development Agenda

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PESHAWAR
A gathering organized by Blue Veins, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Child Welfare & Protection Commission and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Commission on Status of Women in collaboration with Pakistan Education Champion’s Network, with the theme of Challenges to girl’s secondary education in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Young girls from various districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, parents and teachers discussed the factors influencing girls’ education at the secondary level and the need for the policy reform which matters most for girls.
The meeting amplified the increasingly loud message that education policies and budget allocations in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa must ensure that all of its education projects are gender-sensitive, Girls’ education must go beyond getting girls into school .It needs to ensure that girls learn and feel safe while in school; have the opportunity to complete all levels of education, acquire the knowledge and skills to compete in the labour market; gain socio-emotional and life skills necessary to navigate and adapt to a changing world; make decisions about their own lives; and contribute to their communities and the world.
The girl coming from various districts of KP identified poverty, gender inequality, cultural norms and practices, poor infrastructure, lack of WASH facilities hygiene management, child marriage violence and fragility as the influencers of dropout at the secondary level.
Amna Durrani Program Director Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Commission on the Status of Women said “we need to invest in women and girls if we want to see positive change happen in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. We must really place women and girls at the center of provincial and national development agenda, they should be a focus in health, education and economic development plans.
Mohammad Ijaz Chief Child Welfare & Protection Commission Said that unfortunately, the development of women and girls is still a foreign language, we must together build a narrative to facilitate girls’ development and enhance their ability to make optimal choices regarding their roles in occupational and social structures.
Qamar Naseem representing Pakistan Education Champion’s Network (ECN) said “ The policymakers in Pakistan must understand the diversity of girls and women and encourage them to challenge gender stereotypes” By empowering girls to break stereotypes and fight inequalities, the world will allow them to be equal participants, with an equal voice, and with equal access to opportunities in society”. He added.