Dec 7, 2021 – Islamabad: Senator Dr. Sania Nishtar, SAPM was invited to keynote the inaugural session of the Afghanistan-Pakistan Bilateral Dialogue on “Women for Peace Initiative – Road to an inclusive future” organized by a local think tank, the Regional Peace Institute (RPI) in Islamabad. Dr. Sania was joined by SAPM Raoof Hasan, who is also the CEO of RPI, H.E. Per Albert Ilsaas, Ambassador of Norway, Sharmeela Rassool, UN Women Country Representative for Pakistan and distinguished women delegates from Afghanistan. Keynoting the session, Dr. Sania welcomed distinguished women delegates from Afghanistan and stressed on the importance of socio-economic mainstreaming women in both Pakistan and Afghanistan. Reiterating Pakistan’s resolve to empower underprivileged women, she stated, “More than three-quarters of the entire Ehsaas’ benefits go to women and girls under the Ehsaas 50%+ benefits policy for women and girls. Also, gender data disaggregation and its use for accountability is cardinal to the programme review, monitoring and reporting.” She further highlighted that all the twelve million beneficiaries of the Ehsaas cash this year are women. The distinguished women delegates of Afghanistan affirmed to cooperate on various aspects of common aspirations in poverty reduction and women empowerment. The two-day dialogue included working sessions around education for women, governance and development, and legislative processes and procedures.