Karachi (21th March 2018): Bargad, a national level organization working on youth development, in collaboration with Baharia University Karachi Campus and Oxfam Pakistan held a seminar on “Engaging Youth for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)”.
400 students participated in this seminar. The seminar was organized to provide orientation and awareness to youth about the SDGs specifically in the context of Pakistan. The topics that were brought into discussion revolved around two specific goals of SDGs, which were, Goal 5, (Gender Equality) and Goal 16 (Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions) respectively. The seminar was a part of Bargad and Oxfam’s nationwide campaign on SDGs, which involves a series of similar seminars to be held in 12 universities all across Pakistan.
The panelists of the seminar included Dr Farooq-e-Azam Cheema (Dean Management Sciences, Baharia University), Dr. Amir Feroz Shamsi (Professor at PAF- Karachi Institute of Economics and Technology KIET), Mr. Mansoor Zakir (Assistant Professor Baharia University), Essa Khan (Assistant Professor Management Sciences Department Baharia University) and Saima Jasam (Development Consultant and Researcher) and moderated by Ms Salma Butt.
Mr. Essa Khan on behalf of Baharia University Karachi Campus welcomed Bargad team and Oxfam Pakistan.
The panelists shed light on specific SDGs relevant to their work in context of Pakistan and made presentations, followed by discussion with the students.
Ms. Saima Jasam while giving the overall history and back ground of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), said SDGs are a universal set of 17 goals with 169 targets, which all UN member states, including Pakistan, are expected to use in framing their national development agendas. In Pakistan The federal ministry of planning, development and reform and the Planning and Development Department in Punjab have established special units to align national and provincial development processes with the SDGs supported by task forces formed by the members of National and provincial assemblies. While talking about Pakistan’s overall performance she said that Pakistan is ranked at number 122 in the SDGs Index of 2017 and urged the students to take it seriously and contribute in meeting the targets for achieving these goals by 2030.
Students of The Baharia University also shared their perspective on SDGs and talked about how they can be engaged in the development process and help the government in meeting the target for achieving these goals
Dr Amir Feroz Shamsi gave his talk on goal 16 of the SDG which was on Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions He said that for him peace includes freedom from any kind of disturbance like homicide, harassment, violence against any gender, physical punishment and even psychological aggression. Therefore peace is all inclusive and we all need to join hands. Regarding justice he said it is not only government’s job to provide justice we all need to work towards that. He further said we can together make our institutions strong.
Mr. Mansoor Zakir gave his presentation on goal 5 0f SDG which is on Gender Equality. He said that we see gender inequality exists in Pakistan and many other countries also face this problem. He further stated that in order to have equal rights we need proper legal frameworks and along with that we need to work on changing our discriminatory attitudes and mind set. He further said that gender inequalities exist in developing countries as well where women are not paid the same wages as men for the same work. Moreover very few women reach on the top positions and there has been no women who has become prime ministers or presidents in the top three economies like USA China and Japan. In Pakistan there are many customary practices which needs to be abolished,
Dr – Farooq-Azam Cheema (Dean Management Sciences, Baharia University) thanked Bargad team and also Oxfam Pakistan for organizing such an event in their prestigious university.
Bargad is not only involved in conducting these seminars, but is also very active in social media on the issue of SDGs. Bargad social media team successfully made the Tweeter trend #youthforSDGs in Pakistan.