UN Women Pakistan launches Essentials Service Package for women and girls

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Islamabad, July 16(APP): UN Women today launched the Essential Service Package (ESP) in order to ensure that quality social services are provided to women and girls subject to violence in Pakistan.

Essential Services Package (ESP) is a global joint programme of the United Nations on essential services for women and girls subject to violence. The aim of this programme is to provide greater access to a coordinated set of essential and quality multi-sectoral services for all women and girls who have experienced gender-based violence.

In Pakistan, ESP is being implemented through collaboration between UN Women, UNFPA, WHO, UNDP and UNODC. UN Women, being the global lead agency for social services to victims and survivors of violence launched this programme in Pakistan with a key focus on social services.

The programme identifies essential services to be provided by the health, social services, police and justice sector stakeholders as well provide a set of guidelines to improve coordination of essential services in Pakistan.

Australian Deputy High Commissioner, Brek Batley, and Director General Federal Ministry of Human Rights, Muhammad Hassan Mangi were the guests of honor of the event which was attended by government officials and civil society representatives from the national and provincial levels.

While addressing the event, Brek Batley commented that, “Women and girls have a right to live free from violence. But until that right is realised, they need support. Australia is proud to be one of the founding donors of the Joint UN Essential Services Package programme in Pakistan. This commitment of AUD 4.5 million, across 10 pilot countries, will help improve the quality of services provided to survivors of violence.”

Muhammad Hassan Mangi stated that, “Ending violence against women and girls is a high priority area of the Government of Pakistan. The Ministry of Human Rights is committed to incorporate the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) recommendation and that is the reason we have CEDAW committees in all provinces. An effective coordination mechanism is very important for a robust referral system to assist victims of violence. The government is taking capacity building measures to make this system stronger and effective.” He also emphasized the importance of effective legislation and implementation of laws to end violence and make social services accessible for victims.

Earlier in her welcome address, Deputy Country Representative UN Women Pakistan, Aisha Mukhtar formally welcomed the audience and expressed gratitude to the Government of Australia for supporting ESP in Pakistan along with the other nine pilot countries.

VNS Islamabad