Lahore: Justice (r) Nasira Javed Iqbal observed that though women have been able to keep their heads out of water in face of innumerable difficulties, they must prepare themselves to strive to get rid of the countless obstacles that are still blocking their way to emancipation.
She was speaking on the World Women’s Day with the title “Empowerment of Women, Empowerment of Humanity” at the Aiwan-i-Karkunan-i-Tehreek-i-Pakistan in a special sitting jointly organized by the Nazaria-i-Pakistan Trust and the Pakistan Movement Workers Trust.
The other speakers included Begum Mehnaz Rafi, S.P.O. Regional director Salman Abid, Professor Dr. Parveen Khan, Dr. Nausheen Hamid (MPA), Afnan Babar, Begum Safia Ishaq and Mussarrat Kalanchvi. Dr. Khalida Amjad, Dr. Rashida Qureshi, Begum Hamid Rana, Kanwal Nasim and a large number of girl-students, teachers and people from different walks of life were present on the occasion.
Presiding over the special sitting Justice (r) Nasira Javaid Iqbal touched upon the sensitive subject of child marriage. A girl, just like a boy, needs her full potential to be realized before marriage which must be banned before she attains the age of 18 years. An educated and enlightened woman has the capability of changing the whole system for the better, she remarked. Domestic violence, she observed, is also rampant due to the Conservatives occupying the Assembly seats in the Punjab, whereas the Sind and Baluchistan Assemblies have passed the bill on violence.
Mehnaz Rafi, speaking on the topic “Women’s Role and Responsibilities in the Economic Progress of Pakistan”, observed that an intellectual revolution is necessary to rid women of the atrocities, exploitation and outdated rites and customs. The Quaid-i-Azam was keenly desirous of seeing women make a head start in every department of life.
Salman Abid regretfully observed that our social infrastructure was fragile. Illiteracy, lack of basic healthcare and poverty are the main causes of our backwardness. 57.5% of our population is illiterate. Maternity mortality rate is in the ascendant.
Prof. Dr. Parveen Khan observed that women played a memorable role in the Pakistan Movement. Their abilities and capabilities are to be acknowledged and used for our forward march. The World Women’s Day commemorates the New York women who marched for a reasonable raise in their wages on March 8, 1908. The factory owners incarcerated them and subjected them to torture. We must learn to be proud of being women and get rid of old superstitions and customs, said she.
Dr. Nausheen Hamid also condemned the centuries-old rites and customs that exploit women and keep them from realizing their full potential. We must pledge today that will attain our rights, she said.
Prof. Musarrat Kalanchvi admired the Madar-i-Millat for her brilliant services along with many others. She confronted a dictator fearlessly.
Afnan Babar said that Islam rid women of unspeakable atrocities and raised their dignity and honour in the society.