SUKKUR: The International Women’s Day was observed at the Shah Abdul Latif University (SALU), Khairpur on Sunday in collaboration with Bhittai Social Watch and Advocacy (BSWA).
Vice Chancellor SALU, Prof Dr Parveen Shah presided over the event. Anis Haroon, former chairperson of National Commission on Status of Women (NCSW) Pakistan was the chief guest.
Delivering her presidential address Dr Parveen Shah said it should be our aim to recognise the equal status of women and promote the sense of respect for women.
Dr Shah said the tribal culture is the main obstacle in women development. In tribal areas the girls’ schools are being blown by militants. She said in the absence of education discriminatory culture has grown in the tribal and feudal background. She said despite difference in physical structure of men and women, their aim of life is common. In developed societies the women are given equal opportunities but it is not so in our culture due to traditions.
Dr Parveen Shah appreciated the steps taken by the Parliament in the legislation for Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005; Protection against harassment of women at workplace 2010, which were passed on February 25, 2010. She said women are the real architects of the society.
Anis Haroon traced the anti-women policies of late General Zia-ul- Haq. She said that women who raised voice against the dictatorship were put behind the bars and at the Lahore Fort.
In year 1981, atrocities were committed against women.
Anis Haroon said the women struggle is for the whole society and for change in the mindset, social change and equal opportunities. She said: “I belong to Sindh. This land is the land of love and an asset for humanity.
She lauded the efforts of Dr Parveen Shah for the establishment of Institute of Gender Studies at the SALU.
Resident Director, Aurat Foundation Karachi, Mehnaz Rahman said the 20th century is the century of women struggle. This year is dedicated to the slogan “Inspiring for Change”. She said that women are participating proactively in various dimensions of life like media, education, medical etc. She said Malala Yousufzai is the role model of this century.
She said Viro Kohli, a peasant, resisted the feudal lords during election 2013. She had bank balance of Rs2,000 at the time of election but contested the election and could secure 6,000 votes, but she is determined against violence and sense of deprivation.
Mehnaz Rahman lamented that in the year 2013, 40 women were killed in the name of honour killing and 52 women were tortured by domestic violence. She said it is the duty of the civil society to create awareness against the violence and inequalities.
She stressed the need to eliminate discriminatory policies and attitude against women.
Human Rights Activist, Iqbal Detho presented his paper on “Women Rights and Pakistan’s International Obligations”. He said in Phase–I in pre-1960 activism was focused on women political and civil status by ensuring that women had equal civil and political right, the right to have property and the right to vote and the right to hold office.
Faculty Member Department of Sociology, Santosh Kumar presented his paper on “Women Empowerment and its Impact on Society”. He said the term women’s empowerment means developing a sense of self-worth; a belief in one’s ability; the right to control one’s life; to gain the ability to generate choices; to create social and economic order and to take decision powers.
Women Activist from Women Action Forum, Maqsooda Solangi presented her paper on “Challenges in Girls’ Education in Rural Sindh”. She said it is the need of the time that we must empower the women. She traced the history of Moen-Jo-Daro, where the women were mobilized and independent.