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Gender equality vital for empowering women

ISLAMABAD, Jul 19: Gender disparities must be uprooted for empowering womenfolk, and ensuring their participation in decision making processes. This was stated by Syeda Viqar-un-Nisa Hashmi, Specialist Women Empowerment and Gender Rights, Planning Commission in an interview with APP.

Women were enjoying level playing field in social, economic and political spheres of life, Viqar-un-Nisa said while pointing out the need for raising their participation at administrative level.

To devise a model for effective and proactive participation of women in the national affairs, a three-day roundtable on “Gender Mainstreaming through Legal Reforms” would be held by Planning and Development Division here on July 21.

Speaker National Assembly, Federal Ministers, parliamentarians and the members of civil society will participate in the event.

While elaborating, Viqar-un-Nisa said that the objective of this conference is to discuss the issues faced by women including inheritance, protection from harassment, social security and welfare legislation to enhance the women status in labour laws.

The conference would also focus on non-extension of welfare legislation to the workers in informal sector, particularly to the home-based workers, unpaid female family workers, and lack of holistic approach in bringing reforms in the legal framework, she said.

Previously, there was no mechanism to control the harassment faced by women in their daily routine. In this roundtable, positive strategies would be formulated through discussion, Viqar-un-Nisa added.

The Planning Commission, she said was striving to strengthen legislation framework to empower the womenfolk with the help of all stakeholders from the civil society.

The major challenges including gender disparities at the levels of decision making would be addressed and recommendations would be made for the new government to bring necessary reforms in the legal framework.

To further elevate women status at decision making-level, she was of the opinion that it is imperative to induct more women judges in the family courts to ease the dispensation of justice especially to females in the society.
Source: The Nation
Date:7/20/2008

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