President Mamnoon Hussain on Wednesday emphasizing equal opportunities for women to attain higher education said the contribution of educated women workforce could boost national progress. “It is necessary that our women attain higher education and contribute in different fields so as to increase the pace of national progress and development,” the President said in his address here at the inauguration of Women’s Campus at Riphah International University.
President Mamnoon said the country, excluding over its half of population from becoming part of national mainstream, could suffer its ability to compete the global race of development.
He said the women’s participation would not only double the country’s workforce but would also ensure dedicated teachers, bureaucrats, scientists, engineers and experts of different fields.
The President proposed that the sector of elementary and primary education should be handed over to women as they could better handle the young students and prepare the new generation with solid foundations of knowledge. He emphasized that besides formal education, focus should also be laid on training and character-building of students.
He mentioned that new educational curriculum was in the making under the supervision of State Minister Engineer Balighur Rehman and expressed confidence that it would promote a sense of peace and harmony among different segments of the country. The President quoted Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon Him) who said ‘Seeking knowledge was an obligation upon every man and woman’.
He mentioned that the Constitution of Pakistan also guaranteed equal opportunities for education, without any gender discrimination. However, he pointed that due to some local customs in the country, there was some reluctance to impart education to the women.
He said denial of education to more than half of the country’s population was no way justified socially and was contrary to the spirit of the Constitution. President Mamnoon said Riphah University, in this regard, had adopted the correct measures by setting up a separate Campus for the female students and suggested that other universities of the country may follow suit. He said it was also the responsibility of the Ministry of Education and Higher Education Commission to encourage this trend and expressed the hope that in times to come, they would be able to establish similar set ups.
He expressed the hope that the new women Campus would play an important role in helping the students attain higher education in the field of their choice and serve the nation. The President said he was pleased to note that the Riphah University had provided the women students an opportunity where they could gain knowledge to satisfy their quest for literature and to run their home affairs in a better manner, in line with the guidance provided by the Quran and Sunnah. President Mamnoon Hussain while calling for measures to end poverty and deprivation from within the society said steps must be taken to ensure that no one was being exploited and everyone had the opportunity to equal rights.
He called for ending customs against women in the society such as nuptial swap (watta satta), Vanni, honour killing and similar heinous crimes and stressed the need for allowing women to freely cast their votes and express their point of view. He said it was important to break away from the shackles of archaic traditions that oppressed women to attain education. This would be a way forward to empowering over half of the country’s population and heading towards an exemplary society, he added.
He said contrasting views existed in the society regarding higher education of women and many of such negative thoughts were nurtured in the nursery of ignorance. He said some social norms also discouraged the girls to quit their education on attaining a certain age and opt for wedlock instead.