National Meeting on Beijing +15: Moving Forward Together – 30th April – 1st May 2010

Shirkat Gah – Women’s Resource Centre and the ASR Resource, Training and Advocacy Centre organized a two-day national consultation on The Beijing Platform of Action for Equality, Development and Peace on the 30th April to 1st May 2010 in Lahore. Around 200 participants attended from urban and rural organizations all over Pakistan including Gilgit Baltistan and AJK.  Shahnaz Wazir Ali, MNA and Special Assistant to the Prime Minister for Social Sector, Raheela Durrani, Minister of Law and Public Prosecution, Baluchistan, Yasmin Rehman, Advisor to the Ministry of Women Development, Mehnaz Rafi, former MNA, Hina Jilani, Khawar Mumtaz, Nighat Khan, Shagufta Alizai and other leading women addressed sessions.

This consultation reviewed progress on commitments made in connection with the Beijing Platform of Action 1995, Pakistan National Plan of Action for Women’s Development, Millennium Development Goals and CEDAW. Progress made on Pakistan’s commitments was assessed in view of the new local and global changes such as economic crisis, climate change, conflict and its impact on the lives of women. ASR and Shirkat Gah (SG) are collaborating in a multilevel process in connection with the 15-year review of the World Conference on Women, Beijing, 1995. The sessions were mainly on the national and international processes and on moving forward together. Moreover, the discussions were held on the issues of women peace and security with reference to SCR 1325 and 1820; climate change; food security; livelihood crisis; the new UN gender system; and National Plan of Action etc. The participants included the representatives of CSOs; Government; donors; media and a large group of young people.

The forum concluded with specific demands of the government of Pakistan for improvement in the status of women. These included the demand to strengthen Ministry of Women’s Development with appointment of a full-time minister; making National Commission on Status of Women fully autonomous with provincial and district level offices; developing one consolidated National Plan of Action addressing all women’s concerns; giving representation to women peasants and workers in parliamentary bodies and restoring local government system with an early announcement of elections.