Government of Pakistan
Benazir Income Support Programme
April 24, 2018
Ms. MARVI MEMON, STATE MINISTER AND CHAIRPERSON BISP DELIVERS A TALK AT THE WORLD BANK ADVISORY COUNCIL ON GENDER AND DEVELOPMENT
Washington: At the invitation of the World Bank, Ms. Marvi Memon participated in the World Bank Advisory Council on Gender and Development in Washington DC today. Ms. Memon is the first and the only Pakistani to serve on the Council since its establishment in 2011.
The Advisory Council is the main consultative body composed of leaders from client and donor countries, private sector and civil societies, helping the World Bank Group promote gender equality. The theme of discussion for this year was sexual harassment.
The Conference was inaugurated by Kristalina Georgieva, Chief Executive Officer of the Bank followed by Ms. Caren Grown, Senior Director Women at the Bank. Ms. Georgieva thanked the participants for joining the global effort for women empowerment. Ms. Grown in her remarks warmly commended Ms. Memon for her phenomenal work for women empowerment and poverty alleviation in Pakistan on a massive scale through the BISP platform. Ms. Grown further informed that the Bank is working on mapping/preparing a database on women entrepreneurship in Pakistan.
Cabinet Ministers of Canada, Denmark, and Paraguay and CEOs of Oxfam, Global Fund for Women, and UN Women, inter alia, attended the event. Mr. David Miliband, President of International Rescue Committee and Former Foreign Secretary of UK also participated in the event through video-conference. DFID Minister, Penny Mordaunt, Secretary of State for International Development participated in the event as a special guest.
Ms. Memon in her presentation highlighted the progress made by Pakistan in its stride for women empowerment while acknowledging the daunting challenges and shortcomings in fully achieving gender equality. She commented that the laws against sexual Harassment and the role of Federal Ombudsman for Protection of Women against Harassment in work places is helpful in promoting women protection and empowerment. In this regard, she underscored salient areas of BISP’s interventions at national level made more effective and fruitful with the help of media and others.
To contextualize the increasing awareness in Pakistan about women issues, Ms. Memon read out a tweet by a young Pakistani man who exhorted other men to join the #MeToo campaign to support not only women but also encourage and empower them to speak up. She underscored that the debate surrounding women empowerment is dominating the cyber space in Pakistan in the wake of #MeToo campaign.
Ms. Memon suggested that in view of the importance of the gender issue, the Council should interact more frequently than once in a year. The Council welcomed and appreciated Ms. Memon’s suggestion for pooling of resources in the field of Social Safety Nets and connect virtually more frequently than once a year.
In the wrap session, the CEO of World Bank appreciated and extended full support to Ms. Memon’s suggestion that the Council should continue to engage more frequently.
On the sidelines of the meeting, Ms. Memon invited Penny Mordaunt Secretary of State for International Development UK to visit Pakistan in May to participate in celebration of the enrollment of two million kids through BISP Waseela-Taleem program.
Ms. Memon joined other participants in thanking the World Bank for its leadership on this important global issue.