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It’s Women’s Day today!

Ceremonies, seminars, conferences arranged to highlight issues related to women

Staff Report

LAHORE: The city has made final preparations to celebrate International Women’s Day today (Friday), while a number of ceremonies, seminars and conferences were held on Thursday to highlight the issues related to women.

NGOs, political parties, educational institutions and many other department paid tribute to women’s struggles for their rights. Kashf Foundation organised an awards ceremony titled Kashf Entrepreneurs Awards 2013 in connection with Women’s Day to honoured women entrepreneurs.

The event celebrated the achievements of women entrepreneurs and honoured the efforts and innovations of its exceptional clients who had played a vital role in creating employment opportunities for other low-income women in their respective communities.

Kashf Foundation Managing Director Roshaneh Zafer, BoD Chairman Mueen Afzal, CEO Kamran Azim and a large number of women were present on the occasion.

Addressing the participants, Roshaneh Zafar said that real socio-economic change in Pakistan could become a reality only when economic development amongst women was promoted. Mueen Afzal said the future of Pakistan lies in the empowerment of women. “If women are given adequate economic and social opportunities, a significant improvement in Pakistan’s socio-economic landscape becomes inevitable.”

He lauded the key role the micro-finance industry is playing to help low-income households, particularly women, through capital support and training.

Meanwhile, HomeNet Pakistan organised a meeting with parliamentarians, which was addressed by Zakia Shahnawaz, adviser to the Punjab CM, Justice(r) Nasira Javed Iqbal, Faiza Malik, Bushra Malik, Amna Ulfat, government officials, civil society organisations and Home Based Workers (HBW) of the kite-making sector. Speaking on the occasion, Zakia Shahnwaz lauded the efforts of HomeNet Pakistan in bringing the HBWs’ issue in the limelight. She said that a policy for recognition of HBWs was with the cabinet and the government was initiating a pilot project in three districts of Punjab. While talking about the kite makers’ situation, she shared that the women involved with that industry should improve their skills and continue to work for export purposes.

Moreover, Punjab University’s Pakistan Study Centre organised lecture on ‘Political Empowerment of Women in Pakistan’ at its seminar hall. Director Prof Dr Musarrat Abid, Dr Asma Afzal Shami, faculty members and a large number of students were present on the occasion. Addressing the seminar, Dr Asma said that a substantive women’s quota was necessary for bridging the gender gap in Pakistan.

She said that women voters must elect women politicians. She said that the importance and potential of this provision towards the political empowerment of women had apparently not been fully grasped by policy makers. In her message regarding the day, Lahore College for Women University (LCWU) Vice Chancellor Dr Sabiha Mansoor said that wherever gender inequality existed, generally women were excluded or disadvantaged in relation to decision-making and access to economic and social resources.

“Empowering women is an indispensable tool for advancing development and reducing poverty. Empowered women contribute to the health and productivity of the whole families and communities.”

Source: Daily Times

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