Islamabad: Pakistan told a UN panel that 3.5 million rural women are benefiting from Benazir Income Support Program (BISP). Speaking in a high-level round-table meeting, leader of Pakistan delegation to the 56th session of the Commission on the Status of Women, Ms. Fiza Batool Gilani informed the delegates from around the world during a discussion on “The empowerment of Rural Women and their role in poverty and hunger eradication, development and current challenges”, that BISP, the largest ever program in Pakistan was designed to provide financial support directly to the women of poor households, says a press release received here today from New York.
Ms. Gilani, who is Pakistan’s Goodwill Ambassador for Women Empowerment, said besides cash grant of $12 per month, rural women have access to micro credit, skill development, health insurance and loans without mark-up. “It (the programme) is not only contributing directly to the income of seven million poor families across the country but has also empowered women by channelling cash transfers through them.”
She said that since the establishment of BISP in July 2008 till November 2011, over 12 million women were given computerized National Identity Cards, out of which about 70% of them were from rural areas.
She further informed that Pakistan is a country of 178 million people where 68% population is living in rural areas. Beside BISP, she added government of Sindh has distributed 43000 acres of land to landless farmers.
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