Inter Provincial Ministerial Group Meeting, 21st & 22nd December 2023, Avari Lahore

The 21st Inter-Provincial Ministerial Group (IPMG) meeting in Lahore, organized by the National Commission on the Status of Women (NCSW) with support from UN Women and the United States, focused on leveraging data for gender equality in Pakistan. Stakeholders demonstrated commitment to empowering women, envisioning an inclusive society. Established in 2009, IPMG enhances coordination on gender issues.

Nilofar Bakhtiar, Chairperson, NCSW said, “This assembly serves as a crucial platform, fostering collaboration and initiating positive change on the path to gender equality and the empowerment of women in Pakistan. Together, let's unite to construct a society where every woman’s voice echoes, and her rights and contributions are valued.”

Ms. Sharmeela Rassool, Country Representative of UN Women, stated, “The IPMG functions as an inventive platform for devising tailored solutions that cater to the unique needs of Pakistan. An exemplary illustration of this is the National Gender Data Portal. Acknowledging the crucial role of data, we recognize its importance in identifying policy gaps and empowering officials to make informed decisions.”

U.S. Consul General, Lahore, Ms. Kristin Hawkins added, “The National Gender Data Portal, which is financially supported by the United States, is a credible and comprehensive source of gender-related data. Better data collection, analysis, and reporting paves the way for more informed decisionmaking, both by the Government of Pakistan and donors working to eradicate gender-based violence and to empower women.”

President Pakistan Hindu Mandir Management Committee Government of President of the Pakistan Hindu Mandir Management Committee, Mr. Kirshan Sharma, provided a detailed overview of Minority Family Laws. Dr. Arif Laghari, Director at the Ministry of Human Rights, updated the audience on the Pakistan CEDAW report. Dr. Raana Malik offered a detailed overview of property and land rights of women in Pakistan. The day one proceedings concluded with discussions on the way forward, outlining action items for each partner.

The Second day of the meeting focused on strengthening the National Gender Data Portal (NGDP), a portal that was established with the support of UN Women & NUST under the umbrella of NCSW. NGDP is envisioned as a computerized database of women-related statistics/information organized and programmed in such a way that it produces regular analysis and reports on the status of women for the decision-makers at the national, provincial, and district levels. All relevant stakeholders shared their valuable inputs, insights, and challenges faced in the collection of data.

Focal persons of NGDP from each province including AJ&K and GB attended the refresher training session. The training instructor debriefed all the participants about the importance of the NGDP and helped to incorporate the data in the portal and share updates with the NGDP Secretariat at NCSW.

The event ended with valuable inputs from all the focal persons of the National Gender Data Portal.