Islamabad: Federal Minister for Human Rights Mumtaz Ahmed Tarar, while addressing a conference has said that incumbent government was endeavouring to protect rights of women according to Islamic teachings, social norms of our society and international obligations, adding that rural women were our top priority.
The minister expressed these view while addressing a conference on women rights titled ‘Gender Equality in Islam’ organised by Universal Interfaith Peace Mission (UIPM) in collaboration with the Ministry of Human Rights to mark International Women Day of United Nations.
Tarar said that women were contributing a major role in progress of the country and the government was endeavouring to give them conducive environment for their professional growth and rendering their responsibilities with peace of mind. “We are also working on the welfare of vulnerable groups of the society and striving to ensure equal rights for them”, the minister informed.
For the purpose, he said, the National Plan of Action for human rights is being enforced in the country under the directions of the Prime Minister. Under the action plan a campaign had been launched to bring a positive change in the behaviour of people and counter extremism from our society, he said.
In his welcome address, UIPM Chairman Dr GR Chishti tried to point out the reasons women were deprived of their due rights due to lack of knowledge on part of religious scholars and politicians. He pointed out that at the times of ignorance, the Arabs were the most ignorant people who did all the cruelties and deprived women from their status and rights. Islam at that time (1400 years ago) abolished all the dark practices of the ignorant Arabs and bestowed women with due rights that no any other religion has given so far and thus women in Islam are considered precious and valuable and have been granted recognition, protection, respect, modesty and are honored with integrity, prosperity and due rights in all codes of life. “Islam is a complete code of life not only for men but also for women,” he added.
Quoting various examples from Holy Quran, Dr Chishti spoke at length about the spiritual, economic, social, educational, legal and political rights of women in Islam. “Women has right to be consulted as other family members have right to be consulted. Many people believe that it is folly to act or listen to women’s advice. In fact they themselves are disbelievers and unaware to the sunnah of Holy Prophet Hazrat Mohammad (peace be upon him),” said Dr Chishti.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr Amineh Hoti said the objective of observing the International Women’s Day was to make the country’s women self-reliant and provide them with an effective status in the society.
Ms Shabana Kausar encouraged women to also contribute their services in different professional fields to match their women contemporaries in the world.
Ms Mahwish Sabah, was of the view that it is very unjust if anybody is blaming Islam for the present state of suppression of women in the Muslim society. “In fact it is not Islam to be blamed it is because of forgetting the teachings of Islam,” she added.
Among list of distinguished guests, European Union Human Rights Counsellor Ms Javeria Khan, Dr Amineh Hoti, Director Interfaith Dialogue Centre Islamabad, Mrs Marzia from Baha’I community Mrs Farha Amjad, Ms Mahwish Sabah, Ms Shabana Kausar as well as religious scholar Allama Sajid Naqvi, Qari Shafeeq Allama Miskeen, Father Jacob Dogra, Mirza Kamal, Bishop Aftab and others were also present on the occasion. Universal Interfaith Peace Mission Chairman Allama Dr GR Chishti delivered the key-note address.