ISLAMABAD: A workshop here on Tuesday emphasized the role of women in eradication of extremism and establishment of peace in a society.
The one-day event titled ‘Establishment of Peace in Society through Dukhtaran-e-Pakistan’ jointly organised by the Federal Urdu University, Islamabad, Islamic Research Institute, International Islamic University, Islamabad, and Paimaan Trust, discussed the basic and psychological reasons behind growing extremism and intolerance in the society.
Addressing the workshop, eminent speakers said women play a vital role in preventing the spread of extremist ideologies and activities. As mothers, wives, sisters and daughters in family settings and as professionals in workplaces, they shape the values of community members, they said. “Women are a potential bearer of peaceful messages in communities. We empower them to involve them in policy-making in their respective areas, be that villages, the town they live, or to be active politically on the national level. The aim is to empower women with the hope that by empowering them it will change the dynamics of their homes and communities, and eventually lead to the promotion of peace and tolerance,” they added.
The speakers said supporting women’s capacities to actually participate in peace processes is a crucial part of their advancement and ability to contribute to peace, development and security in a society. They were of the view that women are often ‘first responders’ to the possibilities of radicalisation within their communities. In families, schools and workplaces, women play an important role in preventing and countering both the spread and persuasion of extremist ideologies and promotion of peace. At the same time, the marginalisation of women from social and political life allows those views to spread more readily, they opined.
“Women constitute half of the population of our country … and therefore have a significant role to play in societal development. Their role is very crucial as not only they themselves are half of the population but also because they are responsible for bringing the other half into this world. They also act as the first educator of a child,” the speakers said, and stressed the importance of the role of women in all walks of life and the need for them to stand up against extremism being custodians of the ethos of the coming generations.
The attending participants, who ranged from religious scholars, social workers, women rights activists, political leaders and the businesswomen, unanimously denounced violence and agreed on the need for women to be more actively engaged in peace-building efforts in the country. It was unanimously agreed that any national effort to promote peace and tolerance could not be complete without the representation of women who play a fundamental role in the reformation of society in both private and public spheres.