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‘Women need to assert their power’

Karachi: Speakers at a seminar titled ‘Self-employed Women and their Families: Experiences from the Towns of Karachi’ reached a consensus that women should assert their power by working hard and reminding their menfolk that they were second to none.
The seminar on Saturday was held at the University of Karachi (KU) Arts auditorium. It was organised by the Centre of Excellence for Women Studies (CEWS) in collaboration with the Ministry of Women Development, Town Nazims and Anjuman Taraqee-e-Niswan to commemorate International Women’s Day that falls on March 8 (today).
KU Vice-Chancellor Prof. Pirzada Qasim, who presided over the event, reminded the packed auditorium that Islam had given equal rights to women and it was the non-implementation of those Islamic laws that created a general notion that Islam restricts the rights of women. “An educated woman can look after her children and train them better than an uneducated person. It is a matter of some jubilation that women are assuming different roles in the society. They are housewives, doctors, journalists, engineers, IT professionals and in banks and financial institutions,” Qasim said.
He lamented the unchanged position of women in the rural areas where, he claimed, women “had no face, no identity, no personality and in most cases no hope of any uplift in the social ladder.” He praised the female students of the university who now outnumbered their male counterparts and showing their prowess in every field of education.
Minister for Women Development Tauqeer Fatima Bhutto reminded the audience that the world had given some rights to women after a very long time. “It is nearly a hundred years that the women had some rights through prolonged protests. Prophet Muhammad (SAW) had given the charter of better care and rights of the women more than 1400 hundred years ago,” she claimed.
Gulshan-e-Iqbal Town Nazim Muhammad Wasay Jalil thought that the rights of women could not be obtained if the social system that looks down upon the women is not changed. “Seminars and conferences are good but we have to change our mindset to give rights to our women. Charity begins at home. We should begin by respecting our own womenfolk at our homes, by loving our daughters and providing them education that is at par with our sons,” Jalil said.
Sindh Minister for Commerce and Industry Abdur Rauf Siddiqui highlighted the role of women as mothers and teachers and urged the audience mostly women, to take their studies seriously as they had many roles to play in society.
CEWS Director Dr Nasreen Aslam Shah talked about her centre and its role as the trainer of the women for their bright future. She urged the women to take the cudgel of resistance and hard work to carve a place in society – a place that was not a supplementary one. It was an equal opportunity for them.
Source: The News
Date:3/8/2009

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