QUETTA: Speakers at a seminar here have urged the Balochistan government to ensure their representation in the provincial cabinet by inducting a female minister or adviser.The seminar was held by the Department of Women Development in connection with the International Women Day.
The provincial government is a coalition of three parties and the cabinet comprises of 15 ministers and five advisers. However, there is no woman in the cabinet.
All three political parties claim to be champions of women’s rights but even the women development portfolio rests with MPA Izhar Hussain Khoso, who presided over the seminar, while women MPAs and representatives of NGOs expressed concern at lack of their representation in the cabinet.
Mir Izhar admitted that no society could progress without the participation of women. “The role of woman cannot be ignored because men and women play their role jointly for the development of the society,” he said, adding that Islamic teachings also supported the role of women and suggested giving them rights.He announced that women’s centres would be set up in all divisional headquarters.
The Aurat Foundation’s Saima Haroon Durrani and MPAs Yasmeen Lehri and Samina Khan also spoke.
Ms Durrani demanded that a ‘commission for women’ should be set up in Balochistan, as had been done in two other provinces.
A spokesman for the Balochistan government, Mir Jan Muhammad Buledi, said the government was facing challenges in connection with women’s rights. “We are living in a tribal society in which boosting women’s role is a big achievement,” he said.