‘Initiatives for women’s empowerment to bring economic development’

Our Correspondent
March 11, 2022

Islamabad : President Dr Arif Alvi on Thursday said the initiatives for women's empowerment and financial inclusion would lead to the country's economic development.He was addressing the ceremony...

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Islamabad : President Dr Arif Alvi on Thursday said the initiatives for women's empowerment and financial inclusion would lead to the country's economic development.

He was addressing the ceremony held here to launch the ‘Insaaf Watch’ portal developed by the Ministry of Law and Justice in collaboration with the British High Commission and Group Development Pakistan to facilitate women's access to the relevant laws and create awareness of their rights.

The president said women's awareness of their own rights was a challenge but the frequent messaging through the media and the pulpit could be helpful as had been during the COVID-19 pandemic. He advised the law ministry to display posters on the women's rights legislation in mosques, introduce the summary as well as the audio description of the laws on the portal, besides ensuring their availability in both English and Urdu languages.

The president said the ratio of cases being registered was far less than the actual situation of women's rights violations, which necessitated massive awareness among the women. "Women's rights should not be protected merely for fulfillment of international laws rather it should be done as the country's needs as well as an obligation under Islam, which granted inheritance rights to women some 1,400 years ago," he said.

The president said unfortunately a huge ratio of womenfolk was deprived of their inherited properties and the government had made necessary legislation to protect their rights and empowered the Ombudsman's office for the purpose. He called for the true implementation of laws to do away with the usurpation of women's properties as well as for their protection against harassment.

The president said besides providing them with inheritance rights, the women should also be encouraged to become business partners. He said prior to the happening of anti-women crimes, it was the society's responsibility to ensure their safety and exemplified the incident of Minar-e-Pakistan where a woman was harassed and the people filmed the scene instead of stopping it. The president said the measures like the disbursement of around Rs500 billion cash assistance among the women under the ‘Ehsaas Programme’, equal education scholarships and stipends for school-going girls would lead towards their financial empowerment. He said it was equally essential to pay special focus on women's health as malnutrition, neo-natal deaths, frequent pregnancies and maternal mortality would impede them from their empowerment and active participation in the national development. Law minister Barrister Farogh Nasim said after necessary legislation and structural changes, the government was in the implementation phase.

He thanked the British High Commission, the European Union and other partners for supporting the development of the portal. He said for implementing laws, it was essential for the women to know about their rights. The minister said the religious teachings, constitution and international laws were kept in view while making the legislation and in total, over 700 legal amendments had been made. The acting deputy British High Commissioner also addressed the ceremony and lauded President Dr Alvi over his continuous efforts for the protection of women's rights.

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