President Dr Arif Alvi Wednesday while calling for women’s active participation and struggle for their rights, said that the country could never achieve development until its women enjoyed their due rights as well as financial and digital empowerment.
The president, addressing Kamyab Khatoon ceremony held by Kamyab Jawan Program in connection with World Women’s Day, also advised the girls and women to show their leadership skills to claim their rights guaranteed by Islam as well as the constitution.
He said Islam had guaranteed women’s inheritance rights some 1400 years ago, far before the West where women used to be considered men’s property even till 1920.
Criticizing the tendency of brothers getting their sisters’ inheritance in name of gift, the president told the gathering that the women could now approach the Ombudsman office or courts as the government had made necessary legislation to protect their inheritance rights.
However, he said through active participation, the women would have to strive to protect their rights. The literate women should also guide the illiterate ones towards the available opportunities and remedies available for their rights’ protection.
President Alvi urged the women to avail the facility of online bank account opening through mobile application without visiting the bank, as it would empower them financially.
Referring to the “shameful incident” of killing of a week-old daughter in Mianwali by her own father”, the president, advised the women to focus on moral training of their kids to sensitize them towards women rights.
He particularly called for special focus on women’s health as frequent pregnancies and neonatal deaths impacted their health leading to the malnutrition which he said could be addressed if women breastfeed their children at least for six months.
Similarly, he said women’s social protection was also equally essential to give her a sense of protection while moving outside her home.
Referring to the government’s multiple initiatives of skills development for women, the president said taking advantage of the information technology, the women could successfully run their own businesses without leaving their home.
He said Meta (erstwhile Facebook) had been given a target to skill train 100,000 women this year to impart them advertising and other relevant skills required for promotion of the products on e-commerce tools.
Begum Samina Alvi assured the participants of her continuous role for women rights and reiterated her resolve for standing by the women in their course of empowerment and rights’ protection.
Special Assistant to PM Usman Dar spoke high of the incumbent government’s initiatives of Ehsaas, Kamyab Jawan, Kamyab Pakistan and Naya Pakistan Housing Program believing that those would transform the country.
Mentioning the disbursement of over Rs 150 billion through Ehsaas, Rs 0.5 million interest free business loan, housing loans and education scholarships, he said the women had been given special focus in the welfare initiatives.
He also advised the women to ensure their active participation in all the programs else, the country would not achieve the desired development.
Minister of State for Climate Change Zartaj Gul highlighted the historic role and sacrifices by the women in Pakistan as well as Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir.
She said the women would have to show strength and courage to face the societal ordeals in form of cultural norms and taboos.
SAPM Sania Nishtar said the government had ensured 100% budget utilization in all 16 programs under Ehsaas umbrella besides ensuring merit and transparency.
She said under Ehsaas 98% budget had been allocated for the women and systems had been put in place even at Tehsil level. However, she said the awareness among women for their rights was a challenge.
Deputy Governor of State Bank Seema Kamil also addressed the event and highlighted the central bank’s efforts for women’s financial inclusion.
Earlier, the president along with other dignitaries cut a cake in connection with World Women Day and also distributed shields, certificates and cheques among the beneficiaries of the Kamyab Jawan, Ehsaas and Naya Pakistan Housing Program.