Dr. Riffat Sardar
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Commission on the Status of Women (KPCSW)
I am entrusted with the responsibility of leading the KP Commission on the Status of Women. I have always been a dreamer, and my dream and vision for the women of KP is to see them enjoying their full potential, being able to identify their own capacities, and achieving what they want in life. I have known many young girls aspiring to do so much. Once a girl asked me “Madam can I ever go and see this beautiful moon from close”. I replied why not, if you become an astronaut.
Pakistan has been rated low on the international Gender Development Index and the Gender Inequality Index. My first and foremost priority will be to support the Government in improving indicators on women especially related to maternal mortality, adolescent birth rate, secondary education of girls, and women participation in the labour market. Whether it is women dying of child birth, or a girl-child delivering a baby, or girls marrying early and unable to complete secondary education, or women being worse off economically than men; are the elements of a vicious cycle, and are driven by poverty.
I have hope. Pakistani women and men are hard working people. They have the resilience and the power to cope. With a little bit of help they can achieve great strides. Improving the status of women so that they are not faced with discrimination and exploitation, and enjoy full equal rights guaranteed by the Constitution of Pakistan, is the ultimate goal of the Commission. My effort will be to bring the links together of communities, Government, civil society, women parliamentarians, entrepreneurs and businesses, and all those who matter to make it possible, that the status of women in KP is improved. Women and men of KP have to change their mindset; women have to believe in themselves, and want to have the desire to enjoy equality, health and education, and equal opportunity for economic prosperity. My mission is to change this mindset, if not wholly even partially.