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Women empowerment key to ensure progressive, inclusive society: First Lady

ISLAMABAD, Mar 6 (APP): First Lady Begum Samina Alvi, On Wednesday while emphasizing the importance of women’s role in the country’s development, said that a progressive and inclusive society could not be possible without empowering women in every sector of life.

Addressing an event organized in connection with International Women Day by the Behbud Association of Pakistan, Samina Alvi said it was the responsibility of everybody to ensure a conducive environment for girls and women to provide proper education and training, enabling them to live a life with dignity and respect.

Appreciating the role of the association in empowering women, she said that since its inception, the Behbud Association has empowered around one million women by providing skills and training in various fields.

She said women comprised half of the total population of the country, and their participation was very important to ensuring the economic development of the country.

The first lady pointed out that the women’s literacy rate in the county was much lower as compared to the men. She said Pakistan also needed to improve its current rating of 142 out of 147 countries in the Global Gender Gap Index.

She said improving the women’s literacy rate would automatically improve the overall literacy rate of the country, as educated women will never let their children become illiterate.

As regards her campaign on creating awareness about breast cancer, Samina Alvi said self-examination was very critical to ensuring early diagnosis of the disease, adding that early diagnosis of breast cancer was curable.

Similarly, she also called for creating awareness about mental health, which is very important to avoid mental stress and keep people healthy.

She urged the business community, especially, to help establish vocational training centers for the differently abled to enable them to stand on their own two feet and contribute towards the country’s development.

Earlier, the first lady distributed shields among the staff of the association.

Lt. General Dr Nigar Johar, on the occasion said the Behbud Association was playing important role in empowering women.

She said Islam had taught women to have equal opportunities to work shoulder to shoulder with men.

President of the Behbud Association of Pakistan, Abida Malik, informed me that a 100-bed hospital was under construction under the umbrella of the association and would be completed within one year.

The Behbud president also hailed Samina Alvi for playing a remarkable role in creating awareness about breast cancer and other health and social issues.

Source: Associated Press of Pakistan