WASHINGTON: Chairperson Benazir Income Support Program (BISP) Marvi Memon has been appointed to a seat of World Bank’s Advisory Council on Gender and Development.
The Chairperson, who is in Washington to attend the Annual Spring Meetings of World Bank and International Monetary Fund, said the appointment is an honour for her and the country.
The World Bank Group (WBG)’s Advisory Council, established in 2011, is the main external consultative body helping the WBG promotes gender equality. The Council meets twice a year to review progress and advise WBG on the 2015 ‘gender strategy’ as a roadmap to closing generation gaps in education and health, and enhancing women’s voice and agency, especially by preventing and responding to gender-based violence.
The Council members inter alia include finance and planning ministers from Canada, Netherland, Paraguay; Governors of Central Banks; CEOs of UN Women, Oxfam International, Global Fund for Women and global women ambassadors. The Minister also participated in a Conference on Tackling Employer-Supported Child Care at the Bank.
Ms. Memon said that it was a huge honour for Pakistan, BISP and herself to be nominated to such a key global forum. She added that it would be a humbling privilege to serve on such a forum to advance women empowerment agenda while reducing poverty globally. The Minister highlighted the steps taken by the government for women empowerment through active legislation and use of BISP Beneficiary Committee (BBC) network to mobilize and educate women. She touched upon a number of BISP initiatives including E-Commerce for economic empowerment.
A day earlier, the Minister in her meetings with Ms. Annette Dixon, World Bank Vice President for South Asia and Mr. Michal Rutkowski, Senior Director for Social Protection, Labor and Jobs, briefed them about the achievements of BISP geared to help Pakistani women to graduate from poverty to self-sustaining employment. Ms. Memon informed about the progress being made in National Socio-Economic Registry (NSER) and the outreach of Biometric Verification system (BVS) aimed at expanding the social safety net and making it more impactful. The Minister suggested that World Bank development partners should use BISP’s country-wide outreach for a result-oriented development agenda.
Ms. Dixon, while appreciating BISP work, emphasized on coordination with and among provinces to get optimum dividends on investment in human development services. Mr. Rutkowski welcomed the Minister’s suggestion on establishment of a virtual network for knowledge sharing and putting collective expertise in the social safety domain at one place, for the benefit of governments and development partners.
During her interactions, the Minister received appreciation for BISP’s groundbreaking work for women empowerment and development. Most of her interlocutors indicated that the successful BISP model should be replicated in other countries.