Speakers at the “International Women’s Day Conference” on Tuesday urged the government and civil society to ensure equal opportunities for women to help the country in attaining rapid growth and development. The conference was organised by Employers’ Federation of Pakistan (EFP) here at a hotel.
Speaking on the occasion Noor Mohammad Laghari, Secretary Labor Sindh, said Pakistani women are on the path of empowerment due to opportunities being provided to them in different sectors. He said that Sindh government is striving hard to create more opportunities for women. “Provincial government is reviewing the existing labour laws to ensure that women at the workplace get their due place and rights.” he said.
Laghari said literacy rate of females in Pakistan is at 39.6 percent compared to that of males at 67.7 percent, adding that objectives of education policies in Pakistan aimed at equality in education between girls and boys and to reduce gender discrimination in the educational system’, He said that the condition of women in the country is quite miserable, and they are victims of domestic violence. He said women in some parts of the country have even been deprived of their basic right to education which impedes their way to progress socially and financially.
Laghari said women empowerment is a key to bringing about sustainable socio-economic progress of every nation. “This forward-looking approach helps society benefit from the active participation of women from every walk of life,” he added. In her keynote address Acting President/CEO First Women Bank, Charmaine Hidayatullah, said that her bank is providing loans to women from Rs 0.1 million up to Rs 2 million at friendly terms. “Women do not need high power guarantee for loans at First Women Bank,” she said.
Senior Programme Officer ILO, Saghir Bukhari, informed about the two core conventions of the ILO regarding equality which have been ratified by the Government of Pakistan. “The ILO’s Gender Equality for Decent Employment Project is ensuring that women get their due rights in accordance with rules and norms,” he said.
Fasihul Karim Siddiqui, Board Member EFP, emphasised upon practising these principles which will ultimately lead to a change, thus women will feel more secure and empowered. Earlier K. M. Nauman, President EFP highlighted the efforts of the Federation in promoting the gender equality advocating for adoption of gender equality at the enterprise level. Vice President EFP Zaki Ahmed Khan and others also spoke on the occasion.