Commitment to women empowerment

IT was heart-warming that on the occasion of International Women Day, all segments of the society made a firm pledge to continue making concerted efforts for welfare and well being of women-folk and their empowerment. Speaking at an interactive session with women from different walks of life, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi reiterated government commitment to facilitate their entry in all walks of life and to ensure that they are getting equal opportunities, facilities and emoluments.
There is no doubt that overall women in Pakistan have more rights than many countries of the globe and they are contributing their share to different walks of life including education, health, science, politics, sports and defence sectors. There is also significant and effective presence of women in Parliament, provincial assemblies and local governments besides their growing number in public and private sector organisations. They have also established themselves as successful business-women and leaders. All this has been made possible because of special focus of both the society and the government on education of girls and their empowerment through different means including allocation of their reserved seats and job quotas. The Prime Minister has rightly pointed out that Pakistani women have not only been recognised at national level, but also at international level. However, there is still much to be done to achieve, what we call, true gender parity especially in rural and backward areas where women are no more than robots meant for house chores and field work. The role these rural women are playing in promoting and strengthening national economy is crucial but regrettably they are neither properly rewarded by the family nor proper efforts are made by the government to safeguard their rights and ensure their well being. Another common problem being faced by women is sexual harassment despite enforcement of a special law to discourage the curse. And the law is just meant for harassment at work place whereas girls/women are harassed at many places including educational and health institutions, bus stops, streets and roads, in bazaars and even on public transport. The government and the society will have to work hard to address these and other serious issues like lack of proper opportunities for education and curse of honour killings.

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