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Call for gender equality in society

KHAIRPUR: Speakers at a seminar have called for giving due rights to women to help develop a vibrant society.

According to a press release, the one-day seminar on ‘Gender Equity & Poverty’ was jointly organised by USAID, Aurat Foundation and Institute of Gender Studies of Shah Abdul Latif University (SALU), Khairpur, with varsity Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Parveen Shah in the chair.

Prof Dr Mohammad Nawaz Chand of the department of economics was the chief guest while Sukkur SSP Syed Pir Mohammad Shah and Dr Imtiaz Pirzada of the department of economics, University of Sindh, Jamshoro, were honorary chief guests.

In her presidential speech, Dr Parveen said women were a big portion of population around the globe and they had been deprived of economic and social development. As a weaker or second sex, the woman had been kept away from the main stream objectives in societies.

In Pakistan, women access to property, education and employment remained lower than men because Pakistani society was predominantly patriarchal and here women participation in society was low in percentage.

Despite improvement in Pakistan’s literacy rate, educational status of Pakistani women was the lowest in the world. The literacy rate of urban women was five times higher than that of rural women.

Now women were being recognised as the agent of change in the world arena. They entered and excelled in the field of education, economic development, politics and administration, she added.

She said that keeping in view the gender equity; the Institute of Gender Studies had been established at SALU, Khairpur, aimed at assisting infrastructure development by establishing a computer lab and introducing short courses for male and female students with special focus on women participation in society.

Prof Dr Mohammad Nawaz Chand said the rural woman’s role was pivotal in the economic development, but she had been deprived of health and education.

He said education was a vehicle of change and urged to promote education in rural areas.

SSP Syed Pir Mohammad Shah said tribal and feudal systems had deprived women of education, right to vote and economic empowerment. He said media and human rights organisations could play their due role for the gender equity, social, economic and political development of women in the society. Without women empowerment, he said, Pakistani society could not play a dynamic role.

Prof Dr Imtiaz Ahmed Pirzada said: “We must realise that without women participation, the socio-economic scenario of the country will not change.”

Dr Imtiaz recommended that seats of women in parliament might be increased to help them protect their fundamental rights.

Dr Naveed Ahmed Shaikh, program coordinator and focal person, presented an introduction of the Gender Equity Program (GEP). He said women had been deprived in the field of education and there was an economic disparity and gender inequalities. He said women had been victimised.

Dr Tajnees Prizada briefed audience on the aims and objectives of the establishment of Institute of Gender Studies, saying that the institute would play a positive role in sensitizing people to gender equity.

The seminar was attended by officers, professors and students of the university.

Source: Dawn