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ISLAMABAD: President Dr Arif Alvi on Wednesday emphasized the importance of contribution of women in the overall development of the country.

Speaking at a webinar on national initiatives to address gender based discrepancies and for the promotion of legal, economic and social empowerment of women, he said that women could not be empowered without their economic empowerment.

He said women needed to be encouraged in their economic activities, and called for social protection of the women. The constitution of Pakistan fully guaranteed rights of the women, he added.

The event featured a working session on issues confronting women, including property rights, legal, media, and other sectors, which later presented their recommendations for onward consideration by the government.

He said being a gender neutral, the country’s constitution also guaranteed women rights and even provided special provisions; however the implementation of the relevant laws was far more important.

Highlighting the issues confronting women such as insecurity at police stations, delayed disposal of divorce cases, hesitance to register harassment or rape cases, and domestic violence, the president said such sittings would provide a timeline for relief to the women.

Dr Alvi told the gathering that almost 40 percent pregnancies took place owing to non-availability of contraceptives which must also be thought of while devising the policies.

Later, the representatives of respective working groups presented their recommendations on rights of women in media, their access to education, health, legal rights, and economic empowerment.

Following the recommendations, the president, in his concluding remarks, said all the proposals would be forwarded to the ministries concerned for their point-wise response along with the financial implication of the suggested measures.

He called for a wider discussion in media on women rights and awareness among them about the measures being taken for their facilitation.

Endorsing the pre-dominant campaign about harassment of women on social media, the president said though the men were also the victim of the tendency but the bigger damage was to the women.

He urged the political parties for their non-partisan reaction in such case.

He also agreed to the demand for women-specific facilities such as daycare centres, washrooms at workplaces, and called for a survey of offices in this regard.

Calling women the lowest risk in debt market, the president called for safe transport, workplace, women courts, and their security at police station.

Speaking on the occasion, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Shibli Faraz said protection of women’s rights was utmost necessary as they made 50 percent of Pakistan’s population.

He emphasized on highlighting social issues through literature, drama, and culture.

The event was attended by Law Minister Farogh Nasim, Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari, Educations Minister Shafqat Mahmood, Information Minister Shibli Faraz, Special Assistant Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Dr Faisal Sultan, and others.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020

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