Speakers urge women to play role in development
PESHAWAR: Speakers at a Pakistan Muslim League (PML) women’s convention said that women should play a positive role in the country’s development.
The NWFP PML Women’s Forum organised the convention entitled, ‘PML and the internal and external challenges to the country’ at Peshawar Press Club on Sunday. PML leaders, political parties and various intellectuals addressed the event.
Dr Mohammad Farooq, a psychologist and columnist, said the country was facing a number of challenges. He said corruption, unemployment, dishonesty, poverty, absence of merit, violation of law, lack of educational and health facilities and the absence of institutions to ameliorate poverty were the main problems. “Corruption is not only prevalent in the upper classes for if presented with the opportunity, 80 percent of the lower classes would indulge in such activities,” he said. Pakistan needed to eliminate the trend of making money through illegal methods, he said, adding that women could play a vital role in this regard.
“Everyone talks about the cruelty and atrocities of America and European countries but look at us. In every protest we call Bush a dog and burn and desecrate the American flag. It is a weakness that needs to be removed,” Farooq said. People were not getting efficient and cheap justice he said, adding the government should allocate 0.5 percent of the federal budget to increase the number of judges and reform the judicial system.
Dr Farooq said poverty had reached an alarming position but said there were no institutions to help poor students access education. He said it was the government’s responsibility to provide free education and health facilities to people.
“We should start the change from our homes,” he told women “You should implement justice and honesty and provide education for your children,” he said. Violence against women was rising and legislation was required against honour killings and domestic violence, he said. “There is no column in the Nikah form which prevents a husband from being violent to his wife as well as the provision of financial support to women in divorse cases,” he said. “Many men blackmail women by threatening divorce and second marriages,” he said.
Ume Farhat, PML women’s forum convenor, said the convention’s purpose was to inform women about the government’s role, adding that another objective was to strengthen the role of women in family.
MPA Dr Semeen Mehmood Jan, Dr Salahuddin, writer and columnist, Saeeda Ilyas, PML joint secretary women’s wing, NWFP, Jalalud Din, NWFP senior Pakistan Muslim League (PML) member and Advocate Khushid Khan from the Pakistan People’s Party Parliamentarian (PPPP), also spoke on the occasion.