PESHWAR: Speakers at a seminar stressed the importance of female education and said that it was need of the hour to invest more in girls’ education and skill development. The programme was organised by Directorate General Population, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in connection with observing ‘World Population Day’ on the subject of “Investment in teenage Girls” at Peshawar Press Club on Tuesday. The speakers said that educated girls have far reaching positive impacts on society. They said the educated women could support their male counterparts in poverty alleviation and raising per capita income. The education for teenagers would also improve health indicators both for mothers and children, the speakers observed. Welfare Department Secretary Population Fazle Nabi Khan and UNFPA Provincial coordinator Lubna Tajik were speakers on the occasion. Dr. Najma Sultana said that educated mothers could create more opportunities for their children as well.The trend of child marriages in parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is alarmingly common. Due to this trend, around 10.5 per cent teenage girls become mothers earlier than other provinces of Pakistan,” she said. She maintained that child born to very young mothers were normally prone to a higher risk of illness and death in majority cases. “Besides, early entry into reproduction denies them the opportunity to complete education and skill development,” she remarked. The expert shed light on female education and said that literate and skilled girls could play a vital role in development. She stressed on a mass awareness campaign in this regard. Fazle Nabi Khan briefed the participants on the government’s goals set for year 2020. Investment in girls’ education, he said, would largely contribute towards the overall well-being of the country and society. He said that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was the first province whose population policy was approved in 2015.He said that strengthening of national and provincial government’s capacity was part of government’s development sector agenda for incorporation of population, reproductive health and gender issues in national and provincial programmes and plans. Lubna Tajik said that teenage girls faced more challenges around the world as compared to their male counterparts, adding that when girls were empowered, it was a positive sign for their community and state.She said that KP’s patriarchal society did not allow girls to develop their capabilities by precluding them from acquiring education. She added that lack of emphasis on women’s education was one of the main reasons of gender inequality in Pakistan. “Positive policymaking and investment in the education, health and economic sectors will lead to more jobs being created and skill enhancement for teenage girls” said Lubna. She maintained that UNFPA was committed to providing support to partners and government in planning to empower teenage girls through different initiatives including access to quality RH services in KP.