September 2022 will mark the seventh anniversary of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which were adopted in September 2015. As a member of the United Nations (UN), Pakistan is strongly committed to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and adopted the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as its national development agenda in 2016. The principle thrust of the agenda is to “leave no one behind;” with Goal 5, in particular, focusing on achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls. During the last few years, Pakistan has made significant progress in terms of investing in various programs and initiatives that support gender equality. However, there are still many hurdles that prohibit women from achieving complete autonomy in the country, such as lack of education, mobility, financial awareness, and many others. These challenges have been further exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has heightened pre-existing gender inequality gaps for the worse. Pakistan’s performance on global gender development indices reflects this reality, such as its 153rd position out of 156 countries on the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2021. In line with its commitment to improving living conditions for women, the Government of Pakistan’s Ministry of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives (MoPD&SI) launched the National Gender Policy Framework (NGPF) to achieve a gender-responsive society that provides equal opportunities to women and men in every field. The NGPF has six objectives, each with a set of strategic priorities, for a gender-equal ecosystem, in Pakistan. The principle thrust of the SDG agenda is to “leave no one behind.” The first objective is good governance for policy formulation and establishing inclusionary structures to strengthen female participation in every field of the economy. The second objective pertains to education through building an enabling environment for women to focus on income-generating skill development. The third objective focuses on employment and economic opportunity to provide work opportunities, training, and entrepreneurial skills to women, as well as safe working spaces and decent modes of transport. The fourth objective highlights the need for female agency, political participation, and meaningful engagement in the political affairs of Pakistan. The fifth objective addresses the health and well-being of women, covering important areas such as mental health, gender equality in health leadership, and the need for hygiene in educational institutions. The final objective deals with safety and security, to ensure gender-conducive and supportive environments for women to fully utilize their potential. It is welcoming that the previous federal government under the leadership of former premier, Imran Khan has taken cognizance of the lack of national narrative from the last many decades on the subject in the shape of this framework. However, a technical review of this framework is essential. In this regard, a detailed critique of existing gaps observed in this policy framework is, classified into nine points and, elaborated ahead. Cultural blinders: A nuanced awareness of a country’s socio-cultural context and limitations arising from said context is essential for the success of any policy framework. Chalking out the strategic plan for gender equality is the main objective of public policy to gain economic stability. While conditions for women in Pakistan require improvement, on the whole, several indicators show particularly high Provincial disparities. For instance, Punjab’s Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) is 157 per 100,000 live births, compared to Baluchistan, which stands at 298. Similarly, Skilled Birth Attendance (SBA) is 71.3% in Punjab and 38.2% in Baluchistan. These figures point to the complexities that exist in Pakistan’s social fabric, where a woman’s access, mobility and freedom are heavily entrenched and overshadowed by religious and cultural leanings. Females who are illiterate and belong to hard-to-access areas are the ones most in need of knowledge about Family Planning (FP) methods and options. A more rational and achievable way to reach these women is perhaps through the involvement of Lady Health Workers (LHWs), NGOs, and Community Mobilizers, going door-to-door. But NGPF is silent about the involvement of community workers and the community itself. 2. Risk of duplication of efforts at National and Provincial levels: As a baseline measure, it is essential to take stock of existing work being done by federal and provincial governments regarding the objectives outlined in the NGPF to avoid duplication of efforts. For example, a toll-free mental health helpline already exists in Sindh it was launched in 2020 as a response to the psychological crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Similarly, Life Skills Based Education (LSBE) is not a new concept. Existing interventions by the provinces that are in line with the goals of the framework must be closely evaluated to assess how they can be integrated or used as learning to develop more successful models. Moreover, there is a requirement to see that as there are several ministries and, at national as well as provincial levels involved, which must not overlap or cause unnecessary interference in the domain of each other. Women’s equality is a cross-cutting theme having a serious impact on education, health, economic development and sustainability, clean energy, climate change, potable water, sanitation etc. NGPF has not identified and acknowledged these parallel linkages, and there is fear that each one of them will keep working in silos. (To be Continued) The writer is a teacher and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.