ISLAMABAD, Mar 30 (APP): Speaker of the House of Commons, RT
Hon John Bercow MP, Thursday conferred “Speaker’s Democracy Award” on
Chairperson Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP), Marvi Memon.
The Speaker’s Democracy Award is an internationally focused
award which aims to celebrate individuals which through their
leadership and personal courage have made an outstanding
contribution to the development of democratic societies.
The award seeks to recognize individuals who have contributed
to the development of democracy in the broadest sense and
encompasses any aspect of country’s democratic settlement including
human rights, free speech, rule of law, transparency and anti-
corruption campaigning, said a news release issued here.
Marvi Memon, nominated by Rt Hon Alex Salmond MP, won this
prestigious award in a tough competition with excellent nominations
from all across the globe. The judges appreciated her outstanding
performance at BISP in empowering over 5.3 million women by giving them access to unconditional quarterly support stipend.
The panel admired the marvelous services of the Chairperson BISP in
combating poverty and child nutrition in rural areas.
Marvi’s contribution towards gender equality and democratic settlement
in Pakistan was also lauded by the judges as BISP encouraged millions of women to obtain National identity cards thus enabling them to participate in the electoral process.
BISP, the flagship social safety net of Pakistan has played a
key role in reforming social protection system in Pakistan. BISP
resulted in seven percent drop in poverty, three percent decline in
poverty gap and has registered a positive and significant impact on
primary school enrollment. Millions of women got identity cards due
to BISP, leading them to exercise their political and voting rights.
BISP treats women as the head of their families that has led
to an increased role in family decision making. BISP made women
empowered and financially inclusive as 76 percent women retain
control over BISP stipend.