ISLAMABAD: Minister of State and Chairperson BISP Marvi Memon on Friday said that the BISP is the prime women empowerment platform taking lead in empowering women financially, socially and politically.
“It is a unique programme that adds dignity and meaning to life of its beneficiaries by empowering them through awareness and linking them with other welfare programmes that may help them in exiting out of poverty,” said Ms. Memon while launching a women empowerment initiative with World Bank Group staff and BISP beneficiaries.
The World Bank delegation consisted of Ms Caren Grown Senior Director Gender, Mr David Seth Warren Practice Manager Social Development and Ms Helene Carlsson Senior Social Development Specialist.
In presence of beneficiaries from all across Sindh, special training material on women empowerment was unveiled which which women will be educated through awareness using BISP Beneficiary Committees (BBCs).
The training would educate beneficiaries in basic counting, use of ATMs, Biometric Verification System (BVS) for payment, National Socio Economic Registry (NSER), nutrition, health and their rights.
Senior Director Gender World Bank Ms Caren Grown interacted with beneficiaries and stated that BISP’s agenda of financial inclusion and women empowerment is commendable as it would bring sustainable development in Pakistan by streamlining its more than half of the population.
Director General BISP Tariq Mahmood highlighted the contributions of BISP to women empowerment in Pakistan, as recorded in the third assessment report of the BISP.
He said that BISP brought 5.4 million women voters on electoral list by providing them CNICs. In 2011 just 40 percent of women in beneficiary households were likely to vote whilst in 2016 this number has risen to 70% showing massive change in implementation of democratic rights.
He further added that the financial and social inclusion of women has improved as 76 percent of women retain full control on their stipend. As a result there has been increase in financial savings from 9 to 13 percent, drop in poverty by 7 percent, poverty gap by 3 percent and decrease in malnutrition of girls.
Ms. Memon added that 91 percent of the beneficiaries are either ultra poor or poor with low literacy rate of only 9 percent. Therefore, the 55,000 BBCs formed by the BISP are the goldmine women empowerment platform, which is working to enhance financial social empowerment, eliminate violence and bring a real women revolution within the tenants of Islam.
BISP beneficiaries said that stipend helps to sustain their lives as it is spent on food and health .The beneficiaries who started businesses from the Prime Minister Interest Free Loan thanked for the pro-poor policies. Around 50,000 beneficiaries have benefited from the programme.