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Women activists call for gender equality in society

KARACHI: Activists working for the cause of women’s empowerment in the country have asked for coordinated efforts to change the chauvinistic male mindset towards women.

Talking to APP on Thursday, they said this was prerequisite for emotional, social and economic stability in any country. Malka Khan of Aurat Foundation said the cause to eliminate violence against women needed to be strongly supported by every section of the society and not merely by women’s organisations.

In reply to a question about women-specific laws adopted by the current parliament, she said these were a good omen and reflected a political will towards the uplift of women and girls in the society.

”Yet for actual implementation of these laws including the bill protecting women against violence we need people in general to modify their perception”, said Malka Khan.

Tarranum Sattar, a psychiatrist attributed low status extended to women by many of the men in the country to be an outcome of their own “sense of insecurity.”

“Had women closely related to them been granted due respect by their elders these men too would had been emotionally secure,” said the psychiatrist.

Sattar said status of women in any society defines social and economic status of the nations themselves and referred to the fact that progress and development in most of the developed world was consequent to gender-based equality.

Zunaira Ishaq of “No to Honor Killings” said that the country was still in a phase where many of the women, along with men, had to be convinced to condemn honour killing. Zunaira regretted that women and girls being the weakest segment of society were found to be made scapegoats to seek revenge and settle personal score or tribal enmity.

Women were unanimous that people had to be educated and reminded that every religion taught equality and respect for every human life without any distinction on basis of gender, or status.

Source: The News

Date:11/4/2011

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