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Call to ensure women’s participation in all fields

LAHORE: The Mir Khalil-ur- Rehman Memorial Society (MKRMS), in collaboration with Gender Mainstreaming Units (Home, P&D, Law, Finance, LG&CD, S&GAD, GSU Lahore) and GRAP, organised a seminar ‘Participation of Men and Women in Political System and Its Outcome’ at the Al-Hamra Hall here on Saturday.

Addressing the seminar, Provincial Minister for Minorities and Human Rights Kamran Michael said that no progress was possible without women in the society and their political role had gained an immense place in political system, given many womenís presence in the Senate and the National Assembly. He said that there was a dire need to make women work along with men so that progress could be made in the country. He urged that women should be given due rights. He lauded efforts of the GRAP in Punjab.

MPA Uzma Bukhari said that Pakistan could achieve progress only if men and women equally participated in political affairs of the country. She said that women should be given representation while formulating education and heath policies. She complained that women politicians had to face resistance while presenting their point of views at floors of the legislatures. MPA Sajida Mir said that she had become a politician despite being the daughter of a labourer. She said that women had played an important role in the progress and development of any country. She said that sacrifices made by Shaheed Benazir Bhutto for democracy could never be forgotten.

Home Department Gender Specialist Umar Farooq said that eight line departments had been working for the development of women so that they could get due status in all fields. He said that work was also underway on ending discrimination at group policy level.

MPA Shumaila Rana said that the girls were becoming victims of customs like ëvannyí in far-flung areas, just like the age of ignorance. She said that women politicians were not given full rights at floors of legislatures, adding they were discouraged to speak on and dubbed as elected on the reserved seats. Dr Darakhshan Tahir said that Islam had given emancipation to women from slavery fourteen hundred years ago while the West had allowed freedom to women only a few centuries.

Professor Zafar Iqbal Jadon, MPA Department Director, Punjab University, Lahore, said that there was a great difference between participation and representation of women in politics in Pakistan. As women were given 33 percent representations in Pakistan but their participation was not satisfactory.

Women Workers Help Line General Secretary Bushra Khaliq said man and woman were not equal in our society and no change would be possible by merely increasing representation of women in political system. She said that positive development took place after functioning of the GRAP. She pointed out that women were not allowed to cast vote in the tribal areas of Pakistan.

Farah Ismail said that women constituted half of the population and such a large section of society should not be ignored at all. She said that political system could change direction of any nation. She demanded the representation of women in every field according to their population.

MKRMS chairman Wasif Nagi said that women comprised 52 percent population of the country. He said that Pakistan had a woman as the speaker of National Assembly for the first time in history and women were appointed as ministers in Sindh and Punjab but they were not given adequate representation in jobs and other fields according to their population. Ch Hasnat Ahmed said that women were not being given equal opportunities as they could work to shoulder their male counterparts burden, besides bringing up their children.

Syeda Zainab Naqvi said that no society could make progress without women and every successful man had the backing of a woman.

Sobia Gayoor said that progress of society depended on women. She said that violence was committed against women at homes and they were not given their due status.
Source: The News