19th IPMG Meeting

NCSW organized the 19th meeting of the Inter-Provincial Ministerial Group (IPMG) on 3rd November, 2022 with the support of UN Women Pakistan to enhance coordination on gender equality and women’s empowerment.

This IPMG was primarily focused on the issue of availability of authentic data on gender equality because the World Economic Forum's Global Gender Gap report 2022 placed Pakistan at second lowest 156th position.

Ms. Nilofar Bakhtiar, Chairperson NCSW categorically rejected this rating at national and international forums on the basis of the fact that Pakistan has made significant improvements in the gender gap in all spheres.

NCSW in line with its mandate investigated the issue of low rating in global indices and it was found that the lack of consistent, reliable and collatable data is the main issue. As the federal and provincial Planning and Development Departments are the main custodians of data in the country, NCSW held two rounds of meetings with these departments and given the importance of issue all departments agreed to collaborate to develop mechanisms for data collection.

To address the issue of availability of authentic data, NCSW established National Gender Data Portal (NGDP) with the support of UN-Women Pakistan last year. However, ensuring regular data collection and its analysis remains a challenge.

NCSW invited the of Bureau of Statistics, Planning and Development Departments, the Women Development Departments and the Commissions on the Status of Women from all province/regions of Pakistan in this IPMG meeting. The existing data structures of each province were discussed and an agreement was reached between all the federal and provincial departments on the mechanisms of data sharing to make NGDP a success.

The most significant aspect of the meeting was the unanimous resolution which included commitment of data sharing by each province, capacity building measures, generating Reports on Status of Women on annual basis to analyze challenges in achieving gender equality and enhancing coordination between provincial and federal institutions.

Mr. Ahsan Iqbal Chaudhary, Federal Minister for Planning Development & Special Initiatives attended the meeting as Chief Guest for opening session and expressed his commitment towards the cause of women empowerment. While addressing the meeting he assured the full support from Planning and Development Ministry.

Mr. Riaz Hussain Pirzada, Federal Minister for Human Rights attended the meeting as Chief Guest on the closing session and assured the full support and commitment from the Ministry of Human Rights.

Abaid ullah Baig Senior Minister for Women Development, Child & Human Rights, Social Welfare, Population Welfare Gilgit Baltistan and Ms. Taqdees Gillani Parliamentary Secretary from AJK also attended the meeting and expressed solidarity and support for women empowerment and assured every possible cooperation for smooth availability of data for NGDP.

Ms. Sharmeela Rasool, Country Representative UN Women Pakistan and Ms. Lori Antonilez, Director INL Pakistan, while addressing the meeting assured their maximum support to the cause of women’s protection and empowerment in Pakistan.

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The Inter-Provincial Ministerial Group recognizes the significance of the National Gender Data Portal and the availability of gender-disaggregated data. It is noted with great concern that missing data results in low ranking of Pakistan on the Global Gender Gap indices.

The Planning and Development Departments from KP, Balochistan, Sindh, Punjab, AJK and GB, being the custodians of data in their respective provinces, have agreed to share gender data from provinces to NCSW and UN Women team for uploading on NGDP. The mechanisms agreed upon in the 19th IPMG meeting will be fully implemented by all the provincial P&D departments and NCSW with the required support from the group.

The Group recognizes that many gender-disaggregated data-related issues exist in our country and it will take time to address all these gaps. However, the National Gender Data Portal will prove to be the key to projecting a positive image of Pakistan and earn us our rightful place on the Global Gender Gap indices.

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The 19th IPMG meeting was held in Islamabad on 3rd November 2022 with the following spirit and objectives decided and agreed:-

Recalling that on August 4th 2022, a national level meeting was held at NCSW with all provincial P&D departments. In the meeting major decisions were taken including notifications of focal persons for NGDP in all provincial P &D Departments;

Recalling that follow up meetings were held in Punjab, Sindh, Balochistan and online with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Gilgit Baltistan teams where provincial all P&D departments agreed in principle to share provincial data regularly with NCSW for NGDP;

Recalling the spirit of the Constitution of Pakistan, 1973 Articles 25,27,34,35 and 37 guaranteeing equal rights to all its citizens without any discrimination on the basis of cast, color, gender, sex or race;

Reaffirming and recalling the international commitments of Pakistan, including the Convention on Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), the Beijing Platform for Action and the Sustainable Development Goals, which demonstrate its commitment towards women in all public and private spheres, and living a life free of violence and discrimination;

Recognizing the implementation role of Women Development Departments and the overview and guiding and monitoring role of the National and Provincial Commissions on the Status of Women and the Ministry of Human Rights as the national machineries for the advancement of women with the Government of Pakistan and institutional catalytic agents for gender equality;

Recognizing the role of Provincial Development Departments as custodians of provincial data and planning and as the only department authorized to share provincial data;

Recognizing the strategic support form and collaboration with the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and Women Empowerment (UN Women) and its enhanced focus on implementation at national, provincial/regional levels;

Committing further to the provisions in the Constitution of Pakistan and CEDAW focusing on ensuring women’s voice visibility and agency in development activities by supporting innovative activities in line with national and regional priorities;

Considering the monitoring and reporting responsibilities under national and international commitments of the Government of Pakistan and the need for the provincial Planning departments to coordinate with the Federal Machinery for Women’s empowerment in that regard;


We the representatives of the Ministry of Human Rights, Women Development Departments, and Planning Departments of Punjab, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJ&K), Gilgit Baltistan, National Commission on the Status of Women, Provincial Commissions on the Status of Women Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan and AJ&K on this 3rd November, 2022 hereby agree to mutually cooperate to :

• Strengthen the National Gender Data Portal that was developed with the support of UN Women for National Commission on the Status of Women as a result of decision taken in the 14th IPMG meeting held in 2019. NGDP was launched by the President of Pakistan in December 2021.

• Immediate stock taking of the existing data available with provinces

• Planning and Development Departments and Bureau of Statistics in all provinces will share provincial data for NGDP on quarterly basis.

• All provinces will be given the rights to use the data available in NDGP

• Together we will identify weaknesses and barriers to the availability of gender disaggregated data and discuss to find solutions in IPMG meetings.

• Undertake capacity building initiatives for provincial focal persons on NGDP and data sharing mechanism.

• Generate National Status of Women Reports on annual basis to analyse the challenges and gaps in gender equality by using the data of National Gender Data Portal.

• Regularize and enhance coordination and experience sharing among provincial and federal institutions working on women’s empowerment by holding the IPMG Meeting on quarterly basis.