MURREE, Dec 21: A task force of women parliamentarians has been formed to highlight the women related issues and to create awareness among them regarding their rights.
The Gender Mainstream Task Force will comprise women parliamentarians of the National Assembly, Senate and the four provincial assemblies.
The task force is an outcome of a one-day workshop of women parliamentarians held at Bhurbhan that discussed the issues faced by women and the role they can play to improve their the status of women in the society.
The workshop was organised by the Gender Reforms Action Plan (Grap), Ministry of Women Development in collaboration with the United Nations Fund for Population Advocacy (UNFPA).
Two sessions of the workshop were chaired by Minister for Women Development Sindh Ms Tauqeer Fatima Bhutto and Ms Ghazala Gola, minister for women development Balochistan. It was attended by large number of women parliaments of the National assembly and four provincial assemblies belonging to various political parties.
In his opening remarks, Secretary women development ministry Raja Raza Arshad said women’s empowerment was an issue which needs to be addressed by not only the ministry but the society as a whole.
He briefed the participants about the efforts being made by the ministry for empowerment of women.
He said the workshop had provided a forum to discuss the women-related issues with women parliamentarians threadbare so that these issues get support of the parliamentarians when presented in the assemblies.
The secretary said if women parliamentarians jointly take up the women issues, they will be able to solve them.
Dr Hulki Uz, deputy representative UNFPA, on the occasion said gender equality in all sectors of Pakistani society was a collective goal of government of Pakistan and the UNFPA.
Every 30 seconds, a woman dies in Pakistan from pregnancy related causes, he informed the participants, adding “we must try to change this situation and the change cannot be enforced from outside”.
He said the lasting change comes from inside and we have to adopt a participatory approach on maternal health and maternal mortality and all other gender issues.
On this occasion, state of world population report 2008 “Generation of Change” was also launched.
Salman Asif, gender adviser on UNFPA, spelt out the objectives of the workshop and elaborated in details the problems and the possible solutions of the problems faced by the women in Pakistan, especially in rural areas.
Ms Rehanna Hashmi, project director Gender Reform Action Plan, gave a comprehensive and detailed presentation on the activities and course of action of the plan.
Mr Asif highlighted the importance of gender equality and role of media and other stakeholders for the promotion of women rights and to eliminate various forms of discrimination against women. Japanese researchers create mind-reading technology
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