Islamabad: Ms. Wendy Gilmour, High Commissioner of Canada to Pakistan, said that women should have equal access to opportunities to fulfill their ambitions alongside men and all genders in the society. She said women should be allowed to express their views in a safe and secure manner and the government should ensure in providing an enabling and safe environment for women to raise voices for their rights. She said that in Pakistan, despite so many obstacles, women are working almost in every sector and especially in armed forces, which is really impressive. However, at the same time, a large number of women in Pakistan has little access work opportunities and even basic necessities such as health and education.
Ms. Wendy Gilmour expressed these thoughts during a seminar titled “Each for Equal; International Women’s Day 2020” organised by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) here at Islamabad.
She emphasized the need for educating the young boys and girls on Life Skills Based Education in order to ensure that they could take informed decisions for their lives in future. She urged the government to have gender responsive policies and laws to help lift all segments of the society.
Minister of State for Climate Change, Zartaj Gul while commenting on the controversies around 8th March Women Day and Aurat March said that everyone has right to do March regardless of gender and one should avoid to indulge in controversial debates. She said there is no fight between men and women and we should all rather raised our voices against forced marriages, Karo Kari, lack of property rights, lack of job opportunities, and lack of access to health and education facilities etc.
Executive Director, SDPI, Dr Abid Qaiyum Suleri while expressing solidarity on behalf of civil society for international women day celebrations and Aurat March said that for us this year’s theme “each is equal” is yet another manifestation of SDGs message of “leaving no one behind”. We should all acknowledge and respect the role of 50 percent of population (women), otherwise we would fail to achieve sustainable and inclusive development.
Romina Khurshid Alam, Member of National Assembly (PMLN),Transgender Rights Expert at Ministry of Human Rights, Aisha Mughal, Maryam Shabbir Abbasi, Ayesha Ilyas, Research Associate, SDPI, also spoke on the occasion.