Women urged to enhance political participation

ISLAMABAD / ISLAMABAD: Punjab province has taken an affirmative step for women empowerment by allocating them 15% job quota, while adding 5% job quota for religious minorities. This was shared at a seminar titled, “Tracking job quota for the women in Punjab” held here on Wednesday organised by Peace and Development Foundation (PDF).

Gender parity in politics

The participants emphasised the need for enhancing political participation of women as this action plays a critical role in overall women empowerment and emancipation. They also urged working women who become victims of sexual harassment at the workplace to stand up and speak about their rights and fight for justice.

They were of the view that women should be facilitated to come forward in public life so that they could utilise their best potential for the social and economic wellbeing of society.

Speaking on the occasion, Federal Ombudsperson against Harassment of Women at Work Place Kashmala Tariq urged women to come out of the culture of silence and make their voices heard. She added that the office of Ombudsperson was there to provide amicable support to victims of harassment.

“The issue of harassment is deeply ingrained in our society and we need to join hands at every level to provide an enabling environment to women in society and to encourage them to play an active role in different spectrums of life,” she said.

National Commission on the Status of Women (NCSW), Chairperson Khawar Mumtaz while sharing her views said that our prime objective was that the role and contribution of the women should be accepted at every level.

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“A large number of women work in different arenas especially in the agriculture sector but their contribution is seldom accepted and they often work as unpaid laborers” she said.

Mumtaz believed that the political participation of women, especially their enhanced role in the parliament would improve the situation of overall women empowerment in the country.

PDF Executive Director Romana Bashir lauded the positive step taken by Punjab government by allocating 15% job quota for women and 5% job quota for religious minorities. However, she said, to get fully benefit from such positive steps, awareness should be raised among women and society in general. She said that with our collective efforts, we could mainstream the segments of society including women and minorities that are left behind for various social and cultural reasons.

She said that providing an enabling and conducive working environment to every individual would contribute in overall social and economy growth in the country.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 5th, 2018.

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