LAHORE – Like elsewhere in the world, the Women’s World Day was observed across the City on Saturday.
Organisations working for empowerment of women and their rights in society, human rights organisations, NGOs, educational institutions and members of civil society organised different events to celebrate the day with enthusiasm.
The All Pakistan Women Association Punjab arranged 18th Triennial Conference in commemoration with International Women Day at its provincial headquarters.
Justice (r) Javed Iqbal, Begum Lella Haroon Sarfraz, Rizwana Akram, Gulzar Bano, Sakeela Khanam Rasheed, Dr Feroza Ahmad, Dr Sabiha, Dr Munawar Mirza and others speakers addressed on this occasion.
The speakers, while highlighting the struggle of the women worldwide, said that despite the odds, women were undoubtedly moving forward in the professional realm.
They said that in the developed and developing world, women were still facing numerous problems, which could only be solved by providing economic stability to them. They observed that effective implementation of various laws and enactments was needed to provide a more secure and conducive atmosphere to the women folk in the society.
Chief guest, Justice (r.) Javed Iqbal said that instead of traditional ‘mullah’, guidance should be sought from the sayings of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Allama Muhammad Iqbal and Sir Syed Ahmad Khan.
He said that every possible step should be taken for the development of the women community. He proposed separate electoral process for women and stressed to avoid one-sided laws like ‘Hadood Ordinance’ in future.
Provincial President of APWA, Mrs Rizwana Akram informed that 60 centres of women welfare and 10 centres of family planning were working in Punjab while APWA Punjab was also taking a number of steps for welfare of the women.
Mrs Lella Sarfaraz, while paying rich tributes to the voluntary services of the non-formal sector for the welfare and uplift of the women in our society, said that the services rendered by the APWA for betterment of women in the field of health and education were specially praiseworthy.
Dr Sultana Mirza urged for providing education facilities on priority basis to the women living in hinterlands. NGOs should be encouraged to work more proactively, they reiterated.
The conference was attended by the women representatives belonging to four provinces including AJK and they apprised about the measures regarding the progress of women in their areas. Exhibition of hand made embroidery of women was also arranged.
A seminar was held at the Lahore Press Club under the aegis of Working Women Organisation, which was participated by a large number of women, scholars, lawyers, leaders from different walks of life and representatives of various NGOs and political parties.
The speakers at the seminar included Executive Coordinator WWO Asma Mahmood, President WWO Rubina Jamil, General Secretary All Pakistan Trade Unions Federation Gulzar Ahmed Chaudhry, Muhammad Sherjeel, Firdous Butt and Humaira Awais. At the conclusion of seminar, the participants staged a rally outside the Lahore Press Club raising slogans for empowerment of women. The participants also raised slogans against President Musharraf and for restoration of judiciary.
The Punjab University’s Centre for Clinical Psychology arranged a walk on the International Women Day at the Quaid-e-Azam Campus (New Campus).
Director Dr Nosheen K Rahman, faculty members and students of CCP participated in the walk that began from the centre building and after going through the different departments of varsity ended from where it began. The participants carried banners and play cards with slogans about empowerment of women.
A seminar was also held at the Lahore College for Women University in this regard. The seminar was addressed by Vice Chancellor LCWU Prof Dr Bushra Mateen, Prof Dr Humala S Khalid, advocate Ahmad Warraich and Director General GRAP Aftab Faheem.
“I will not be wrong in saying that we should demand human rights and not women rights. A female child is discriminated against her male sibling by her own mother in our society,” Dr Mateen said.
She was of the view that the deterioration of ethical values of youth was primarily due to non-fulfilment of duty assigned to women. Warraich talked about the legal perspective of women rights.
DG GRAP informed about the reforms and steps taken by the government in favour of women.
Source: The Nation