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‘Only 29pc women are literate’


ISLAMABAD — Eight-day training workshop on “Women in Leadership and Management in Higher Education” for the female students and faculty members held to develop a network of trained and confident professional women to equipped them to collaborate extensively across the country.

The National University of Science & Technology (NUST) had organised the workshop in collaboration with Fatima Jinnah Women University (FJWU) and Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU).

The aim of the workshop was to develop a network of highly trained and confident professional women who would be equipped to collaborate extensively across the country, to draw on each other’s strengths, strengthen each other’s weaknesses and together introduce such other initiatives that will help embed gender equitable practices in their universities.

The workshop helped investigate the concepts, issues and practices of ‘women and academic leadership’, ‘women and governance in higher education’, ‘developing management skills’, and ‘women research and generating resources’. The closing ceremony of the workshop was held on Sunday at NUST.

Dr Nafisa Shah, Chairperson National Commission on Human Development who was the chief guest at the ceremony, said there was a world outside the universities and educational institutions, which depicted a depressing scenario of women’s conditions. She said only 29 per cent of women in the country can read and write and the rest of the population of women is engaged in labour work and household jobs.

She said access of women to country resources is limited and gender based violence is one of the reasons which hinder their participation in socio-economic sphere. Women need to be supported for their active participation in all spheres of life and such trainings are of great importance in enhancing their skills for managerial and leadership positions.

Engineer Muhammad Asghar, Rector of NUST, speaking on the event said 21st century is a century of knowledge, awareness and information about the happenings around the world. Response of markets around the world can be changed within hours and even minutes and mass revolt can destabilise the entire political structure. He said nobody could befool the masses anymore, as the younger generation is far more informed than old people.

He was of the view that “managing of higher education institutions is a big challenge as we have to focus on not only learning and research but also make sure that our graduates have relevant knowledge and skills and create jobs through entrepreneurship rather seeking jobs for themselves”.

Universities and the higher education leaders must therefore be dynamic enough to adjust to the changing higher education landscape that will ultimately produce knowledge-based economy, he added.

Prof. Dr. Saeeda Asadullah Khan, Vice Chancellor of FJWU, briefing about the workshop said workshop demonstrated that how teams and networks come into being and operate effectively, such networking is essential for sustainable work.

The programme helped participants develop strategies that can bring sustainable change for themselves and for the status of women in higher education institutions in their country.

Ms Dorothy Garland, Director Professional Networks, ACU, also spoke on the occasion. In the end, the chief guest presented the certificates to the participants of the workshop.

Source: The Nation