Karachi: There are signs clearly indicating that Pakistani women are on the path of empowerment.
This was stated by Labour Secretary Noor Muhammad Laghari while speaking as chief guest at a conference held on Tuesday in connection with International Women’s Day.
The event was organised by the Employers’ Federation of Pakistan.
The secretary talked about the ongoing efforts of the Sindh government to review labour laws with the objective of ensuring that women at the workplace got their due place and rights.
“The literacy rate of females in Pakistan is 39.6 percent compared to that of males of 67.7 percent. The objective of education policies in Pakistan is to achieve equality of education between girls and boys and to reduce the gender gap in the educational system.”
Laghari said the state of women in the country was quite miserable and they were victims of domestic violence and sexual assaults and were being denied their due social, economic, political and financial rights.
“Women in some parts of the country have even been deprived of their basic birthright of education which, in turn, hampers their road to empowerment, as it is only education that can empower them, not only socially but also financially.”
The labour secretary said there was no denying the fact that women’s empowerment was a key phenomenon in 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.”
Earlier, President Employers’ Federation of Pakistan KM Nauman highlighted the efforts of the federation for promoting gender equality and advocating the adoption of a gender equality policy at the enterprise level.
He also highlighted the importance of compliance with international conventions so as to continue receiving the benefits of GSP plus concessions from the European Union.
The keynote address was presented by the acting president of First Women Bank on the theme of ‘Inspiring Change’, which was also the theme of 2014 International Women’s Day marked on March 8.
Referring to the well-defined UN Principles of Women Development, Fasihul Karim Siddiqi emphasised the need for practising these principles, which would ultimately lead to a change enabling women to feel more secure and empowered.
The event was organised in collaboration with the International Labour Organisation (ILO), which was represented by Saghir Bukhari, senior programme officer on behalf of the ILO’s country director.
Bukhari spoke of 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, he said, was ensuring that the women of Pakistan got their due rights in accordance with rules and norms.