Oxfam, RDF Launch Youth Innovation Hub

Oxfam, RDF launch youth innovation hub

The Oxfam in Pakistan and implementing partner Research and Development Foundation (RDF) launched the Youth Innovation Hub on Friday here at Jamshoro.

HYDERABAD, (Pakistan Point News - 7th Dec, 2018 ) :The Oxfam in Pakistan and implementing partner Research and Development Foundation (RDF) launched the Youth Innovation Hub on Friday here at Jamshoro.

The Innovation Hub, established under Oxfam's Empower Youth for Work (EYW) project, was inaugurated by Sindh Minister for Women Development Syeda Shehla Raza and was followed by a Young Girls' Festival at the Mehran University of Engineering and Technology (MUET).

The festival featured stalls selling handicrafts, micro finance banks and providing informational material about micro-finance.

The Innovation Hub aims at providing training and mentoring support to Jamshoro's youth to assist them in development of skills, seek employment opportunities and establish their own enterprises. Young girls, especially those aged between 15 and 29 years- are priority target to be trained under the EYW project.

Addressing the seminar at Water Centre of Mehran University Shehla Raza said her department was carrying out many activities under sixteen days of activism in Sindh to control harassment against women.

Sindh Government was working seriously on women's economic empowerment and for the first time women development department has formed five year strategy that aims to work together for women empowerment and take advantage of each other capacities, she said.

Indus civilization is not only old, but glorious too as it always leads in women empowerment and evident of gender equality, she said and added this was the glorious view of the civilization where women had rights. She quoted examples of brave ladies of Sindh the Marvi, Sohni, Sassui, Noori, Moomal, Mai Bakhtawar and Benazir Bhutto.

She said we all need to work together to alleviate miseries of women, particularly from rural areas of Sindh. Political empowerment is necessary to develop leadership skills of young people in Sindh, the minister said and added that they can visit Sindh Assembly as to get inspiration to become leaders.

For the first time in Pakistan, the minister informed that Sindh Assembly had passed 'protection against harassment of Women at work place act 2010' which safeguard the dignity of working women. Sindh Government also made laws for controlling early child marriages. We need to be inspiration for our young girls, she opined.

The Country Director Oxfam in Pakistan Muhammad Qazilbash said among the biggest challenges young girls face in Pakistan are social and cultural barriers to economic opportunities, particularly issues in mobility; by providing them with new avenues, we empower women youth to live up to their full potential.

The Vice Chancellor Mehran University Prof. Dr. Muhammad Aslam Uqaili said the universities are the places where from change takes place and the graduates of engineering universities have not only need to get the jobs but they need to create the jobs while developing the industry.

The young girls festival is basically to inspire the youth and Mehran University would celebrate this festival every year, he said adding that "We should celebrate special events for the girls as they could explore opportunities to become productive and contribute for the well being of the nation, of that they have the potential", The VC pointed out that hostel capacity for the girls in the university is not adequate and requested the Sindh Government to provide additional hostel facilities for the girls as they could pursue their higher education.

There were immense challenges on the way to women empowerment, which we need to address together. The Academia, NGOs, Government Departments have to work together in this regard, he added.

Among others, Seher Afsheen, Ashfaque Soomro and Dr. Bakhshal Lashari also addressed the participants of the seminar.