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February 14, 2020

‘Remove cultural barriers to women development’

Lahore

February 14, 2020

LAHORE:Speakers at a symposium held at Punjab University (PU) here Thursday said that women’s empowerment should not be considered as man versus woman or West versus East rather it is just like giving due rights to all human beings which they deserve.

Speaking at the symposium “Women’s Economic Empowerment: Evidence-Based Policy” organsied by PU Department of Economics they said there was a need to remove cultural barriers to give space to women and the women should also learn to respect other women as well.

PU Vice-Chancellor Prof Niaz Ahmad, MPA Mussarat Jamshed Cheema, University of Home Economics VC Prof Dr Kanwal Ameen, University of Okara VC Prof Dr Zakria Zakar, Chairman Department of Economics Prof Dr Mumtaz Anwar Chaudhry, civil society members, faculty members and students attended the event.

Prof Niaz Ahmad said there were various levels in any society and without understanding social system, which had an important role, gender-based problems could not be solved. He said as VC he did not feel that women were lesser than men. He said that on important administrative position, where he could appoint men, he had appointed women and they never disappointed him in running the administrative affairs and they were performing their job in an excellent manner.

The VC said the situation regarding women's rights in Pakistan was far better than some years ago. He said we elected Benazir Bhutto as the first female prime minister of Islamic world and Fahmida Mirza as Speaker National Assembly who performed well. He said it should be our preference to educate women if we wanted to educate our nation and society.

Mussarat Jamshed Cheema said women should be strengthened in Pakistan and they should work shoulder-to-shoulder along with men.

She said if we promoted the idea of ‘partnership’ instead of ‘competition’ and avoid thinking of men versus women, we could get better results. She said we must train our children in the way so that they could respect mothers, sisters, daughters of others. She said the government was working for the welfare of women and since females were good in number in the parliaments, they were making laws for the women’s rights.

Dr Kanwal Ameen said we all must learn to respect woman as a woman and appreciate her role in socio-economic development. She said economic empowerment of women did not guarantee that they were really empowered and getting rights. For instance, she said, maids working at homes earned for their husbands who were mostly addicts. She said still they were beaten by their husbands.

Prof Dr Zakria Zakar said in a patriarchal structure, there were some certain sanctions on women and if they were removed, women would emerge and play a role in development. He said we had restricted social space for women and if we remove cultural barriers, women rights situation would improve further. Prof Dr Mumtaz Anwar Chaudhry and others also spoke.