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CSOs call for ensuring food security for rural women

ISLAMABD: Representatives of civil society organisations on Sunday called for ensuring food security and secure livelihoods of rural women, encouraging them to contribute towards national development.

The two-day conference was arranged in connection with International Rural Women Day by Potohar Organisation for Development Advocacy (PODA) under the theme “From Food Security to Peace and Security”.

Executive Director PODA, Sameena Nazir, on the concluding day said that this year theme was selected in the post-flood context to review all aspects of disaster mitigation and women role in food security and food prices decisions and impact. She said that women’s role in peace processes was also discussed in the conference, bringing women peace makers at a platform from all parts of the country.

Sameena said that there was dire need to allocate budget for women development at district level and involve them in peace process to bring stability in the region. Minister for Women Development, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, and Sitara Ayaz on the occasion said that rural women are facing great hardships as there is lack of health, education and other basic facilities in rural areas.

Sharing the welfare steps for women folk by the provincial government, Sitara said Provincial Commission on the Status of Women, 65 industrial training centres, 07 Bacha Khan Women Vocational Centres, Working Women Hostels, Women entrepreneurs and business centres and Women Facilitation Centres have been established to empower rural women.

A civil society organisation, ActionAid in its message on rural women day said rural women who have been major contributors as food growers and livestock managers are not acknowledged in any policy related to agriculture.

They are overlooked in various compensations for agriculture rehabilitation, agriculture extension services and land allotments.

Another organisation, Bedari, said efforts of women running a community or society are marvellous, however, they lack recognition.

These women have a lot of potential for leadership, decision making and taking initiatives and they must be involved in policy making process, however, the change in mindset of their male relatives is needed.

Aqsa Khan of Women Organisation for Right and Development (WORD) said that women rights to own agriculture land, produce and income must be recognised.

Source: Business Recorder