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Fehmida links country’s progress to women’s participation

ISLAMABAD: Speaker National Assembly Dr Fehmida Mirza has said that women comprised half of the population of the country, so the dream of national prosperity and progress could not be achieved without their participation in the mainstream.

The speaker was addressing the opening session of a three-day seminar organized by the Planning Commission here on Monday.

She said that women had always been neglected by the state institutions in past, therefore they could not have played their due role in the country’s development.

She said that anti-women traditional practices like Wani, Sawara, honour killing and marriage with Quran had been supported on the basis of wrong interpretations of religious teach-

ings and erroneous cultural norms.

She said that instead of following 600-year-old religious concepts, the people should study concepts of the modern era.

She said that the silence of governmental and non-governmental institutions over the women’s issues was a worrying omen. “Even sitting on the opposition benches in 2006, our party had supported the Women Protection Bill only to protect the rights of women,” she boasted.

“Laws alone will not work. It needs a honest motive and strategy to give relief to women,” she said adding: “The Constitution guarantees equal rights to man and woman and there is no gender bigotry between the both. But all we need is to make these laws stronger”, she said.

The speaker asked the participants of the conference to devise a strategy for the protection of the women’s rights. Meanwhile, Deputy Chairman Planning Commission Salman Farooqi and Assistant for Women Issues to PM Begum Shahnaz Wazir Ali also addressed the conference and highlighted the importance of woman’s role for the development and prosperity of the country.
Source: The News
Date:7/22/2008

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