Tuesday November 28, 2023

‘Everyone has right to street march irrespective of gender’

By Our Correspondent
March 09, 2020

Islamabad : Minister of State for Climate Change, Zartaj Gul while commenting on the controversies around 8th March Women Day and Aurat March said that everyone has right to do March regardless of gender and one should avoid to indulge in controversial debates.

She said there is 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.

She expressed these thoughts during a seminar titled “Each for Equal; International Women’s Day 2020” organised by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) here.

Zartaj Gul said that it is 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,” she said.

Zartaj said 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.

Executive Director, SDPI, Dr Abid Qaiyum Suleri while expressing solidarity on behalf of civil society for international women day celebrations and Aurat March said that for us this year’s theme “each is equal” is yet another manifestation of SDGs message of “leaving no one behind”. "We should all acknowledge and respect the role of 50 percent of population (women), otherwise we would fail to achieve sustainable and inclusive development."

He said that we strongly condemn any move that aim to hurt equal rights for all genders. “SDPI will keep advocating for social justice, particularly for women rights,” he added. High Commissioner of Canada to Pakistan Wendy Gilmour said that 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.

The envoy 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.

"The government should have gender responsive policies and laws to help lift all segments of the society."

Romina Khurshid Alam, Member of National Assembly (PMLN), National Assembly of Pakistan said 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.

"We are all born equal and called for social cohesion among all segment of the society. There is need to put pressure on the masses and teach our sons instead rather daughters to show respect for women," she said.

Transgender rights expert at Ministry of Human Rights, Aisha Mughal said though Transgender Protection Act addressed our long due issue of identity, which was a big achievement, the transgender community in Pakistan is still marginalized and facing the issues of social acceptance and family acceptance.

She urged the government to create a safer and enabling environment for the transgender community, as transgenders face more sexual harassment than women.

"The whole focus of the Aurat March is to demand a safe environment for women and other marginalized genders," she said.