5th National Women at Work Festival
Islamabad—The 5th National Women at Work Festival kicked off with a tree-plantation drive here on Sunday. The event titled “Plant a green hope” was held at the National University of Science and Technology (NUST). The event was organized in connection with the festival, an annual public advocacy and outreach event of the Development Communications Network (Devcom-Pakistan) to commemorate the International Women’s Day.
The tree-plantation was supported by the Capital Development Authority (CDA) and the Institute of Environmental Sciences and Engineering (IESE). Despite rain and weekly off-daty, a large number of female students and many faculty members were present to welcome three women parliamentarians, Senator Nuzhat Sadiq, Senator Najma Hameed, and Senator Sitara Ayaz who were the guests of honour on the occasion.
Speaking on the occasion, Munir Ahmed, Festival Director and the Director Development Communications Network (Devcom-Pakistan), said,” The women’s work is vital for a fast-paced development in all spheres of life. We need to give all possible opportunities to women to express their skills and potential to prove to be a vibrant and active citizen. The women shall also take care of the social and ethnic values while going out of their homes for work.” Munir Ahmed said women had played a role right from the independence of Pakistan to its democratic development and economic growth. “We need to remember and celebrate the women’s role and contribution that has been significant in our social and economic development.”
Munir said the festival was started in 2012 to commemorate the International Women’s Day with the objectives to promote and mainstream the work of development partners on the women rights, empowerment, mainstreaming the decent work, practices to wipe off violence against women, and to promote and strengthen gender policy advocacy and governance. All the three parliamentarians appreciated the students and faculty members for keeping the event up despite inclement weather. “That is the spirit we need from our youth especially young women and their mentors and teachers,” Senator Nuzhar Sadiq said.
She said, “We are increasingly becoming more sensitive towards environment and climate change. Even our social environment is changing but in a positive way that we are more sensitized towards women friendly legislation and taking up the agenda at the grassroots level.”
Senator Nuzhat Sadiq said,” We should encourage rural women to start small businesses such as dairy farm, tailoring because such women entrepreneurs boost the economy.” She emphasized the need of women state ambassadors who could highlight women’s professional and social status and the issues concerning them at the international level.
“Women should come forward and discuss their problems including sensitive matters. If you talk, we know and if we know, we can solve. Confident pioneers with consistent hard work and self-belief are necessary to bring change in future.” She said for the first time in the country’s diplomatic history the present government had appointed nine women ambassadors.
Senator Sitara Ayaz said,”We are living in a geographically jeopardizing location where climate change impact turns in disasters and calamities. Women suffer the most from climate change being the household runners. Recent examples are the Thar Desert famine and Karachi heat-wave. We should start devising plans right now or we will pay tomorrow by moving masses further down the poverty line.” While talking about responding to climate change as nation, she said government plays its role but private sector especially women and youth should participate as well.
Commenting on the women friendly legislation, Senator Sitara Ayaz said,” Laws are there to help women suffering from harassment, rape, violence and disparity issues.