Lahore: . Being a priority issue Girls’ Education and Equity are put forward at the policy implementation level by creating an effective partnership with parliamentarians. The Provincial Parliamentarian Caucus was formed during 2010 by UNICEF and the School Education Department, Punjab as part of the United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative (UNGEI) to address concerns in education. This core group of parliamentarians is responsible for advocating removal of gender disparities in education in Punjab.
In order to form parliamentarian caucus at district level, and at the same time to create a liaison with the potential young champions (agents of change in education system), discussion / advocacy sessions jointly with parliamentarians and the young champions are already conducted at Pakpattan, Kasur, Bahawalnagar, Faisalabad and DG Khan districts with the strength of round about 300 participants, including parliamentarians, representatives from School Education Department, Punjab Girls Guides Association, Punjab Boys Scout Association, Media and UNICEF.
In this context, School Education Department and UNICEF has organized a Dialogue between the Young Champions & Parliamentarians under UNGEI with the collaboration of Jahandad Society for Community Development (JSCD) on 23rd November, 2012 at local hotel Lahore. The main objective of this dialogue is to create networking between parliamentarians, young champions and media, to build alliance amongst parliamentarians, to ensure gender equity by addressing discriminatory policies and decisions promoting gender parity at various levels.
During the session, Young Champions raised the issues related to education and drew the attention of the parliamentarians to the complexity of challenges being faced by the children, especially girls, in terms of education at district Lahore. A group of parliamentarians along with representatives of School Education Department and UNICEF were responsible to answer the questions relating to them escort by Ch. Javed Ahmad, Chairman Standing Committee of Parliamentarians on Education. Mr. Mahmod Hassan, Additional Secretary (B&P) and Mr. Qaiser Rashid, Deputy Secretary (P&B) from the School Education Department, Mr. Tariq Saeed, Education Specialist from UNICEF, Mr. Muhammad Pervaiz Akhtar, EDO (Education) Lahore and Mr. Islam Saddiq from Directorate of Public Instruction (DPI). Dialogue was conducted by Ms. Muneeza Hashmi (Consultant).
Parliamentarians are sensitized to recognize role of young champions as change agents and community mobilizers for promoting gender rights and achieving gender equity in education through conduct of special events.