LAHORE: Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif has said that women empowerment is prerequisite for progress and prosperity of the country.
The Punjab government announced a comprehensive policy for the empowerment of women in 2012 under which revolutionary steps had been taken for the protection of their rights and their empowerment, he added.
He was talking to a delegation of an NGO Shirkatgah, working for the protection of women rights, which met him under the leadership of Executive Director Farida Shaheed here on Monday.
Local and foreign delegates were also included in the delegation. Federal Minister for Water & Power Khawaja Muhammad Asif was also present on the occasion.
The Chief Minister said that 33 percent quota of women have been fixed in governmental boards whereas the quota of women in government jobs had also been increased from 5 percent to 15 percent.
He said contract for running canteens in the educational institutions for women was also being given to women. Similarly, he said, ownership of women inheritance had been made compulsory. He said, a law had also been introduced for the protection of women in offices and their work places.
The Chief Minister said, Pakistani women were very talented and they had proved their metal in all sectors of life. He said, the role of women including Mohtarma Fatima Jinnah and Raina Liaqat Ali Khan in the Pakistan Movement was highly commendable.
He said, Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto played a prominent role in the political field and was the first prime minister of the country.
He said, upholding of the rights of women and their protection was the collective responsibility.
He said, economic independence was essential for empowerment of women. He said, women have to work side by side men in the practical field after completion of their education.
He said, women living in villages worked shoulder to shoulder with men in different sectors and women of urban areas would also have to play their role in the process of national development.
The Chief Minister said, Islam has laid great stress on the rights of women. He said, special centers were being set up for the provision of justice to the women who were subjected to violence and the foundation stone of first center had been laid in Multan where all necessary facilities would be available under one roof.
Federal Minister for Water & Power Khawaja Asif said, a lot of work had still to be done for empowerment of women and collective efforts were required for this purpose.
The participants of delegation said, the Punjab government had taken effective steps for empowerment of women and Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif was taking practical steps in the real sense for this purpose.
Attorney General of Pakistan, Provincial Ministers Begum Zakiya Shahnawaz, Hameeda Waheeduddin, Ayesha Ghaus Pasha, Syed Haroon Sultan, Khalil Tahir Sandhu, Assembly Members Saba Sadiq, Farhana Afzal and concerned officers were present on the occasion.