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June 17, 2021

Forum launched to increase women’s role in society

 
June 17, 2021

Lahore:The Standing Committee on Gender Mainstreaming, and Sustainable Social Development Organisation (SSDO) launched a non-political forum and neutral body with representation of all segments of society named Women’s Peace Council at a hotel here on Wednesday.

Parveen Sarwar, Punjab Governor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar’s wife, is the patron-in-chief of Women’s Peace Council. She was the chief guest at the launch ceremony. The Women’s Peace Council aims to increase the role of women in all fields of life in bringing peace, development and resilience against violence and extremism in society.

Provision of justice at all levels is essential for the establishment of a peaceful society. The convener of the council, Uzma Kardar, informed the participants that a need was felt to institute role of women in peace building so WPC was established. The standing committee, Women's Peace Council members and all Punjab Parliamentarians will work with the SSDO to make the platform functional. In future, through legislation, the Women's Peace Council will become an institution.

The participants included Justice (r) Nasira Javed, the minister for human rights, Lahore College for Women University Vice-Chancellor Dr Bushra, University of Home Economics VC Dr Kanwal, MPA Bushra Anjum, Girls Guide Association Commissioner Sarwat Hamid, MPA Sadia Sohail Rana, MPA Asia Amjad, MPA Neelum Hayat, MPA Sabreena Javed, MPA Kanwal Pervez, MPA Uzma Qadri and the representatives from minorities and special persons. SSDO Executive Director Syed Kausar Abbas said the SSDO was committed to working with women parliamentarians to raise awareness among women living across Punjab especially in the rural areas for inclusive and sustainable peace, progress and development of society. “SSDO has always taken all parties along. We have designed a comprehensive campaign along with parliamentarians of Punjab and Sindh to go door to door, visit schools, colleges and universities to spread message of peace, interfaith harmony, social cohesion and bonding and community cooperation to address the growing menace of intolerance and extremism in society,” the SSDO executive director said. In Sindh, Women’s Peace Council was launched last week on the same model and Rehana Leghari, deputy speaker, Sindh Assembly, is its patron-in-chief. Parveen Sarwar lauded Uzma Kardar, chairperson of Standing Committee on Gender Mainstreaming, and her team for the peace initiative. She underlined the need for skills development, both for women and men.

The speakers pointed out that women had to step up to help end chaos and achieve peace at the national level. “Mothers have to teach their children acceptance of those who are different from us in some ways, to cultivate inclusivity if we want peace. Let’s focus on what unites us and not what divides us,” concluded Parveen Sarwar.

One of the speakers pointed out that mental health issues had aggravated in society to which Sarwar suggested having a doctor in every educational institution so that anyone mentally disturbed could approach the doctor and could receive help in time. The minister for human rights stressed on the need to stop violence against women. “Educated people have been found to resort to violence more than the uneducated,” he said. An MPA said it was important to secure women’s rights and increase their role.