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Joint efforts to empower women stressed

HYDERABAD, March 17: Society, educational institutions, and policy makers should make efforts for the provision of education, health and other facilities to remote areas for women empowerment, said educationists and intellectuals.

Speaking during seminar “Literacy, a step towards women’s empowerment” marking International Women’s Day they laid emphasis on creating awareness through education for bringing about positive changes and were of the view that illiteracy was the hurdle in development, particularly of women. “A number of womenfolk had reached the assemblies but problems in rural areas remain the same,” they said.

Sindh University Pro Vice Chancellor Dr Rafia Ahmed Shaikh said collective efforts would prove helpful in addressing issues of women and added it was unfortunate that in Pakistan rights bestowed to women by Islam had been usurped by tribal customs and cultural beliefs.

She said in some northern regions there was an unwritten law denying women their right to inheritance.

Prof Qalandar Lakyari said there was need for continuous research about merits and demerits of change in society. He said every society had its own culture and traditions and modernization was creating problem for rural people. He criticized role of service providing organizations saying education and health departments were main service providers but both failed to deliver.

He said teachers of rural schools were not performing their duties diligently with many schools running without building.

Doctors at Basic Health Units (BHU) fail to provide relief to people as many such units were without doctors and medicines.

Prof Shah said injustices had categorized the society into rich, poor, strong and weak.

Dr Roshan Ara Kazi said due to lack of education women were not practicing family planning and also suffering from diseases.

Dr Tanveer Junejo said every government tries to provide education to women but black customs and traditions come in the way.

Dr Abida Tahrani, Director SDSC presenting introduction said the SDSC was a leading organization in the region with capabilities and confidence to carry out field work in remote areas of Sindh and other parts. She said the SDSC emerged as a leading institution for professionals and applied research scientists in the field of economics, agriculture, sociology, education health, environment and related sectors.

Dr Tahrani said the centre provides teaching, research and consultancy services for development work supported by the government and international donor organizations and added the most demanding assignment to date was the 11-year contract for monitoring and evaluation of socio-economic impact of the Left Bank Outfall Drain (LBOD) project.

Dean Faculty of Social Sciences Dr Iqbal Ahmed Panhwar said no doubt the NGO’s were working well but there still was margin for serving the community in different areas.

The seminar was jointly organized by Sindh University Sindh Development Study Centre and National Commission on Human Development, on Monday.

National Commission on Human Development Director Sohail Rajput said that only 54 per cent children of the country went to school and their dropout rate was 30 per cent. He added that a majority of school going children comprised boys and parents were reluctant to send girls to schools.

He said that the NCHD had opened 95 literacy centres all over the country, including 23 in Sindh. He said that the NCHD had set up 16 computer training centres for women in different parts of the province and added that 500 girls had benefited from the centres and 300 of them had been employed.
Source: Dawn
Date:3/18/2008

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