In a bid to address the gender equality issue in Pakistan, an exact 50 percent share of the PM Youth Loan Program has been assigned towards women.
The steps in this regard were taken in line with Pakistan’s fifth goal towards Sustainable Development i.e Gender Equality. Special orders from the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Muhammad Nawaz Sharif were followed and the division of resources were revised to include a 50 percent share of women. The step will also ensure that Pakistan keeps abiding by to the rules as set by Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) of which it now forms a part.
The PM Youth Loan Program also known as the “Prime Minister’s Youth Business Loans” is a Federal Government’s initiative to extend loans the educated but unemployed youth of Pakistan wanting to open their business enterprises.
The Federal Government allocated a 10 percent quota for women at the Public Sector organizations. The respective Provincial governments have also raised the share of women in employment opportunities. For Punjab, it now stands at 15 percent while the Sindh government took it to 25 percent. Apart from this, Punjab government has also worked to add as much as 25,000 different posts for women in different government departments.
Among the other initiatives taken include the Waseela-e-Sehat and Waseela-Taleem program under Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) which now greatly emphasize on the inclusion of women. A gender cell has also been established at the Election Commission of Pakistan to stir the women’s involvement in the upcoming elections.
The steps taken by the government throw light on the emphasis it is putting on women empowerment. However, we will still have to wait for the end-term results in order to gauge the practicality of these steps.