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50pc beneficiaries under Ehsaas Programme are women: Dr. Sania

ISLAMABAD, DEC 10 (DNA) – Special Assistant on Poverty Alleviation Sania Nishtar on Thursday has said that several steps are being taken under Ehsaas Programme for welfare of women.

Addressing a function in Islamabad, she said fifty percent beneficiaries of all the initiatives under Ehsaas Programme are women, and this number is increasing day by day. The special assistant said women are benefitting from Ehsaas Kafalat, Ehsaas Amdan and Ehsaas Undergraduate Scholarship programmes.

The Ehsaas organized an event titled, ‘Humein Ehsaas Hai Khwateen Ka” held on Friday to commemorate sixteen days of activism against gender-based violence. The event, chaired by Senator Dr. Sania Nishtar, was co-organzied by, National Commission on the Status of Women (NCSW) and Quaid -e-Azam University. Addressing on the occasion, Dr. Sania said, “Gender-based violence is not acceptable at any level”.

 She said the incumbent government was fully committed to empower women. To ensure sustainable women empowerment, she said, Ehsaas fifty percent plus rule was squarely embedded in all Ehsaas initiatives including Ehsaas cash transfers, Ehsaas undergraduate scholarships, Ehsaas interest free loans and Ehsaas Amdan asset transfers.

Currently, Ehsaas was also ensuring financial inclusion to eight million Ehsaas Kafaalat beneficiaries through the provision of bank accounts. She stressed that education was essential for the socio-economic empowerment of girls and women.

“Ehsaas is the only programme worldwide that offers a higher stipend amount for girls compared to boys under its conditional cash transfer (CCT) programmes; Ehsaas School Stipends and Ehsaas Nashonuma”, she highlighted.

Dr. Sania also applauded the collaboration between NCSW and Ehsaas and expressed hope that the event would lead to longstanding and meaningful women empowerment centric partnership in the coming days.

In the opening remarks, Chairperson NCSW, Nilofar Bakhtiar expressed her joy at being back at Quaid-e-Azam University where she studied during her academic career. She went on to share a brief historical perspective of 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence and explained how this kind of violence was least convicted crime in the world.

She also appreciated the efforts of Ehsaas programme in their unyielding efforts for uplifting the women in Pakistan. She also encouraged participants to make commitments for ending violence against women and motivated all students to enthusiastically chant the slogan ‘”End Violence Against Women NOW”.

Inspiring the participants, girl recipients of Ehsaas Undergraduate scholarships also narrated their stories about how Ehsaas had enabled them and their families to pursue their higher studies. Earlier, welcoming guests at the ceremony, Prof. Dr. Muhamamd Ali said financial and economic empowerment of women could ensure gender equality.

He said women still faced discrimination and exploitation in our rural areas and they could end this menace by creating awareness. The Vice Chancellor said at Quaid-e-Azam University, girl students were playing an effective role in academic and extra-curricular activities.

The event was widely attended by senior officials of Ehsaas, government officials, development partners, awardees of Ehsaas undergraduate scholarships, faculty and students of Quaid-e-Azam University, and women and girls from all walks of life.

Nilofer Bakhtiar, Chairperson, National Commission on the Status of Women (NCSW), Dr. Ismat Tahira, Secretary Benazir Income Support Programme, Arif Anwar Baloch, Secretary NCSW and Professor Dr. Muhammad Ali, Vice Chanellor Quaid-e-Azam University also attended the event. = DNA

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