House of Commons Confers Speaker’s Democracy Award on Marvi Memon – March 30, 2017

Government of Pakistan

Benazir Income Support Programme

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Press Release

30th March 2017

 HOUSE OF COMMONS CONFERS SPEAKER’S DEMOCRACY AWARD ON MARVI MEMON

Islamabad ( ) Minister of State and Chairperson BISP MNA Marvi Memon has been conferred Speaker’s Democracy Award by the Speaker of the House Of Commons RT Hon John Bercow MP.

The Speaker’s Democracy Award is an internationally focused award which aims to celebrate individuals which through their leadership and personal courage have made an outstanding contribution to the development of democratic societies. The award seeks to recognize individuals who have contributed to the development of democracy in the broadest sense and encompasses any aspect of country’s democratic settlement including human rights, free speech, rule of law, transparency and anti corruption campaigning.

Ms Marvi Memon nominated by Rt Hon Alex Salmond MP won this prestigious award in a tough competition with excellent nominations from all across the globe. The judges appreciated her outstanding performance at Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) in empowering over 5.3 million women by giving them access to unconditional quarterly support stipend. The panel admired the marvelous services of the Chairperson BISP in combating poverty and child nutrition in rural areas.  Ms Marvi Memon’s contribution towards gender equality and democratic settlement in Pakistan was also lauded by the judges as BISP encouraged millions of women to obtain National identity cards thus enabling them to participate in the electoral process.

BISP, the flagship social safety net of Pakistan has played a key role in reforming social protection system in Pakistan. BISP resulted in 7% drop in poverty, 3% decline in poverty gap and has registered a positive and significant impact on primary school enrollment.  Millions of women got identity cards due to BISP, leading them to exercise their political and voting rights. BISP treats women as the head of their families that has led to an increased role in family decision making. BISP made women empowered and financially inclusive as 76% women retain control over BISP stipend.