Govt bridging gender divide with more opportunities for women: PM

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Govt bridging gender divide with more opportunities for women: PM

ISLAMABAD:Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi Thursday said the government was taking steps to bridge gender divide in the country by providing women equal opportunities to make them excel in their lives.

Addressing the 'Meet the Girls Who Code' event organized by the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication here at the PM Office, the prime minister said he believed that Pakistani women had the potential to deliver their best if provided a level-playing platform.

He lauded the project aimed at imparting practical computer education to girls from across the country to help them become economically self-reliant.

He said the programme would impart digital skills to over 30,000 women, who were part of the Pakistan Bait ul Maal training programme and 110,000 from the ICT school programme.

He appreciated the role of Ministry of Information Technology in reaching out to the far-off areas of the country and to connect those with the cyber world.

He said the ICT for Girls programme would merge with the DigiSkills programme and serve as a way forward for them to get good jobs and help their families stand at their own feet.

He said many new areas were available for the women to use their newly gained digital skills and the programme would open a new world of opportunities for them.

He termed it a very significant programme for the empowerment of women and expressed satisfaction that women of the country were taking lead in all fields of life.

The prime minister said the government was giving women an opportunity with the belief that they would rise and shine.

He said the programme needed to be expanded and urged upon the provinces to follow the suit by learning from the experiences in education sector.

He said provision of broadband connectivity to the far-flung areas of the country would create new employment opportunities and expand the reach of people to modern amenities of life.

Minister of State for Information Technology Anusha Rahman said the programme had enabled the girls learn computer skills resulting in their mainstreaming in various jobs.

She mentioned that the girls received training in coding, computing and coaching at the 144 facilities set up in the country.

She said the USF was running two projects under the ICT for Girls programme. The first project was in Women Empowerment Centers of Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal comprising 150 computer labs benefiting 30,000 girls annually. The second one was being run in all girl schools of the Federal Directorate of Education consisting of 226 labs in schools benefiting 110,000 girl students annually and 202 teachers trained.

Beneficiaries of the project - girl students - also shared their experience during the event and thanked the prime minister and the minister for IT and Telecom for their efforts in making their lives better and giving them a bright future.

She thanked the Universal Service Fund (USF), Microsoft, UN Women and Huawei for being exceptionally supportive partners in the programme to bridge the gender digital divide, which is paving the way for socio-economic uplift of the very important segment of the society.

The prime minister witnessed the signing of Letter of Intent between the Universal Support Fund and the UN Women and also gave away 150 electronic tablets sponsored by Huawei to the distinguished girls, who received digital training.

The event was attended by foreign diplomats, government dignitaries and representatives from IT and Telecom industry. APP/AFP

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