Women role must for sustainable, inclusive development Women should have equal access to opportunities to fulfill their ambitions alongside men: Canadian Envoy

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ZUBAIR QURESHI
Minister of State for Climate Change, Zartaj Gul while commenting on the controversies around Women Day and Aurat March being held on Sunday (today) has said that everyone has the right to take out the march regardless of gender but at the same time, one should avoid indulging in controversial debates. While addressing a seminar titled “Each for Equal; International Women’s Day 2020” organised by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), Zartaj Gul said there was no fight between men and women and “we should all rather raised our voices against forced marriages, Karo Kari, lack of property rights, lack of job opportunities, and lack of access to health and education facilities etc.” Zartaj Gul said it was good to celebrate one specific day every year for women, but every day is women day as women are part of every single aspect of society and we cannot simply ignore or denied their role and contribution. “We should learn to respect our daughters, mothers, sisters and spouses and empowered them for their positive role they play for the society. “Women empowerment is incomplete till a woman is not economically empowered” said Zartaj adding we should not stigmatize women’s role in our society and should not forget all those women who are most marginalized in far flung rural areas and don’t have access to opportunities and basic necessities. While commenting on issue of harassments, Zartaj said that harassment is not physical only, there is mental harassment as well which is deeply prevailed in our society where women opinion or their voices not given due respect or heard. High Commissioner of Canada to Pakistan, Wendy Gilmour said women should have equal access to opportunities to fulfil their ambitions alongside men and all genders in the society. She said women should be allowed to express their views in a safe and secure manner and the government should ensure in providing an enabling and safe environment for women to raise voices for their rights. She said that in Pakistan, despite so many obstacles, women are working almost in every sector and especially in armed forces, which is really impressive. However, at the same time, a large number of women in Pakistan has little access work opportunities and even basic necessities such as health and education. She emphasized the need for educating the young boys and girls on Life Skills Based Education in order to ensure that they could take informed decisions for their lives in future. She urged the government to have gender responsive policies and laws to help lift all segments of the society. Romina Khurshid Alam, Member of National Assembly (PML-N), was of the view that despite many challenges the perspective about women in Pakistan and abroad has changed, as there are so many accomplished and powerful women there who are positively contributing in society. She said that we are all born equal and called for social cohesion among all segment of the society.

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