Sunday, July 7, 2013

Civil society urges female participation in decision-making

Staff Report 

LAHORE: Speakers at the ‘National Consultation on Women Issues’ stressed that the government and semi government institutions should ensure participation of women in the formation of rehabilitation and reintegration policies about education development for females in the country.

A non-governmental organisation Shirkat Gah organised the two-day event at a local hotel. National Commission on the Status of Women chairperson Khawar Mumtaz presided over the concluding ceremony and highlighted the need for empowerment of women in Pakistan. Bhittai Social Action Watch and Oxfam Novib Pakistan also supported the conference.

Representatives of different civil society organisations, government organisations, media, police officials, relevant UN agencies and lawmakers participated.

Shunila Ruth MPA from Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Zar Ali Khan from FATA NGO Consortium, Fehmida Iqbal from UN Women, Tanveer Jahan from DCHD, Mariam Bibi from Khwendo Kor, Nighat Saeed Khan from ASR, Kishwar Sultana from Insaan Foundation, Abida Swati from Oxfam Novib, Farhat Sheikh from NDMA, Qamar Naseem from Blue Veins and Tabassum Bashir, Humaira Sheikh, Dr Tabinda Sirosh from Shirkat Gah also spoke on the occasion.

Addressing the gathering, Khawar Mumtaz stressed the need to sensitising communities to the importance of women’s access to education and strengthening laws, institutions, mechanisms and procedures for protecting the human rights of women. She said that Pakistan has experienced a dramatic rise in armed conflict, disasters and displacement with more than 24 million people displaced over the past seven years. She said that specific implications on women include changed roles, decreased mobility, psychological trauma, rape, enforced prostitution, forced sterilisation and other reproductive health issues arising from reduced access to services often resulting in abortions and miscarriages.

Fauzia Viqar, Director Advocacy and Communications of Shirkat Gah said, “Ensuring access to medical, psychosocial & referral services, local economic development opportunities and entrepreneurial education of women for rehabilitation is important.” She further stated, “Ensuring that voices of women are heard while designing and implementing rehabilitation and reintegration policy is important”.

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