UNICEF Unveils New Vision To Empower Adolescent Girls In Pakistan

ISLAMABAD, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News – 30th Apr, 2024) Pakistan launched its National Gender Strategy (2024-2027) here on Tuesday to deliver lasting, transformative change for millions of girls between 10-19 years.

If the strategy is implemented effectively from urban to rural areas, it can drive change, address inequalities and improve the lives of all girls and women, including those living with disability.

“Striving for equal opportunities for all, especially girls, is fundamental to Pakistan‘s progress. Investing in girls is a win-win for everyone,” said Nilofer Bakhtiar, Chairperson, National Commission on the Status of Women. “It can lead to higher incomes and increased productivity, benefiting not only girls, but also the nation. By investing in girls’ leadership, we unlock their full potential and pave the way for their brighter future.”

Today, adolescent girls in Pakistan face stark challenges in their education, health, nutrition and well-being. For example, Pakistan is home to nearly 19 million child brides.

In addition, more than half of adolescent girls, or 54 per cent, are pregnant before their 18th birthday which can be life-threatening for the mother and the child.

A staggering 88 per cent of adolescent girls live in poverty which hampers the country’s progress.

“Millions of children, most of whom are girls, face devastating challenges in their daily lives. Often, they cannot use even basic social services like health care. They are forced to drop out of school due to early marriage, poverty, and deep-rooted social norms,” said Inoussa Kabore, UNICEF Deputy Representative in Pakistan.

“If all girls and women were to have the opportunities that are their right, such as studying, working, they would contribute to the economy and help Pakistan to prosper. No country will get ahead if half its population is left behind. UNICEF looks forward to working with the Government, civil society organizations, communities, girls and women, men and boys, to change the national dialogue on this critical issue.”

During the launch, UNICEF presented URAAN, which embodies UNICEF’s spirit on gender equality, with wings that symbolize greater equity in programming on gender.

The new strategy reiterates UNICEF’s commitment to the leadership and well-being of adolescent girls with a series of time-bound results.

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