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Saturday February 04, 2023

Women’s contribution to economy is very important, says Mahtab

By Our Correspondent
December 04, 2022

“If a woman steps outside her home and does some positive work in society that isn’t acceptable to that society, it’s not the woman’s fault but society’s,” said former member provincial assembly Mahtab Akbar Rashdi on Saturday.

“Until men and women work shoulder to shoulder, society can never become moderate,” she pointed out as she shed light on women’s role in society on the third day of the 15th Aalmi Urdu Conference at the Arts Council of Pakistan, Karachi.

“Lack of education is the biggest problem in our society. The economic conditions here are so bad that women’s contribution to economic development is very important.”

Different participants expressed their views during a session titled ‘Women and Social Attitude’. “It’s time that we forget notions like saying that freedom for women is considered Madar Pidar Azadi [unbridled freedom],” said Mahtab.

“Due to our economic conditions, we can’t keep women at home and feed them too. Now women feed families. There’s no harm in it. Women from all classes are contributing to the economy of every household now.”

Journalist Uzma Alkarim, who was moderating the session, said women are generally respected in society, but when it comes to violence against women, surveys show otherwise.

Responding to this, jurist Nasira Iqbal said that what we call respect for women is actually our frustration. “Mostly, women aren’t even considered humans. People should know what violence is. There’s physical violence, then there’s mental violence as well.”

Poet and playwright Noor-ul-Huda Shah said that those claiming to change the country’s destiny and implementing an Islamic system are the first to abuse women. “Just to gain political advantage, women are abused and young children are encouraged to abuse in the name of patriotism.”

Nasira pointed out that the basic human rights of men and women are equal, but when we talk about women’s rights, it means that women do not have equal rights.

Noor said that those who set social behaviours are the ones who do not want to respect women, as only their statements talk about women’s rights. “It’s said that revolution will happen when shame and modesty are discarded.”

Anis Haroon said the laws are very good “but they aren’t enforced because it’s not in the enforcers’ interest. In Sindh, however, police enforce new laws to a great extent”. Huma Baqai said that a great silent change is coming in the country. “Now there’s a ray of hope for women.”

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