By: Our Correspondent
Islamabad: “Whoever says women don’t have the ability to perform as well as men need to get their records straight. As women we face many hurdles and challenges in our lives starting from our basic right to education. This struggle continues in our pursuit for economic empowerment. And yet, we continue to march on, equally contributing alongside men.” These views expressed by Madiha Nisar, Member of the Provincial assembly of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and Chairperson of the Standing Committee on Higher Education during a workshop organized by Pakistan Youth Change Advocates (PYCA).
This workshop was carried out under PYCA’s initiative, “Increasing Girls’ Participation in Education in Rural Pakistan” which is being implemented with support from in Hive Global. Under this initiative, strong female role models from rural Pakistan will return to their former village schools to engage with the currently enrolled students and their families. These female volunteers will serve as mentors and role models who will enable and inspire young girls to aspire for leadership roles as they tread forward in their educational journey.
“It is very exciting that such amazing young women have gathered in this workshop to collectively work on the noble and important cause of girls’ education,” said Madiha Nisar while speaking with the young female volunteers present at the workshop.
Ms. Sana Ahmed, Program Officer at Blue Veins also participated as a guest speaker at the training and shared, “My family was not very flexible when it came to girls receiving education. Still, I fought for my right and today I am a practicing lawyer, member of the civil society and an advocate of women rights. I am grateful that when my younger sister wanted to pursue her higher education, she did not have to face the same challenges as I had and my troubled journey paved a smooth pathfor her.”
Lead facilitator of the workshop, Mr. Hisham Khan, Program Officer at PYCA stressed on the importance of girls’ education and stated, “It is a bitter reality that there are currently 22.8 million children out-of-schools in Pakistan. 53% of these out-of-school children are girls.” He further added that civil society organizations should come up with innovative, low cost and sustainable solutions to help more girls get enrolled in schools. “Creating alumni networks is one such innovative solution. The alumni role models will not only help the school-going girls but will also help to motivate their parents to enroll their daughters in schools and keep them there. In the current time, at least 12 years of education is the basic need of every Pakistani child, especially the girls.”