The intention to set up Civil Society Advisory Groups for UN Women at the global, regional and national levels was announced earlier this year at the 56th session of the Commission on the Status of Women, as a way to ensure strong, effective civil society engagement with the organization. National Advisory Groups will fill a particularly important gap by allowing members to engage the organization in regular dialogue and discussion on its programmes and priorities.
As with many countries globally, the last 30 years have seen a cohesive civil society movement emerge and evolve in Pakistan, particularly in the area of women's human rights. Civil society alliances in the country were actively involved as UN Women was formed, and they have continued to review the vision and strategic approach of its programmes, and convey recommendations to the UN System.
The 122 nominations received for the Advisory Group came from across the country, and included members of small civil society organizations from under-represented, under-served areas. The criteria and the process used to select members were shared with civil society.
The 16 final members span the country, with three representatives from minority groups, one from the youth sector, and several founders and pioneers of the women's movement in Pakistan with extensive national and international experience.
Through its ongoing partnerships with women's organisations all over the country, and through its work with government ministries and departments, UN Women is actively supporting the implementation of national commitments on gender. This deeper, broader consultative engagement will allow it to better facilitate the achievement of women's human rights and gender equality in Pakistan.