LAHORE, March 7: A non-government organisation arranged a meeting on the topic of “The gender agenda gaining momentum” at a hotel here on Thursday to commemorate the International Women’s Day.

Adviser to chief minister Begum Zakia Shahnawaz, Justice Nasira Javed Iqbal (retired), labour secretary Hasan Iqbal, SIMORGH Executive Director Neelam Husain, social activist Mehnaz Rafi, Advocate Kahlid Zafar, Pakistan People’s Party MPAs Faiza Malik and Bushra Malik and Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid MPA Amna Ulfat addressed the meeting organised by HomeNet Pakistan.

Speakers praised the parliamentarians for the pro-women initiatives taken by the Punjab government and completion of the process to make a policy for home-based workers in Punjab.

Ms Shahnawaz praised the HomeNet Pakistan for highlighting home-based workers’ issues, and said the cabinet was discussing the policy for recognition of home-based workers and the government was initiating a pilot project in three districts of Punjab to solve the problems coming in the way of implementation of this policy.

About the kite-maker women, the adviser said these women should improve their skill and continue to make kites for exports.

On this occasion, HomeNet Pakistan shared the findings of a situational analysis on home-based workers associated with kite-making in Lahore and Jhang to update the parliamentarians about the problems of kite makers, seek a strategy to tackle livelihood issues and relax the ban on kite flying. Ms Rafi and Mr Zafar suggested that the ban on kite flying should be lifted and amendments should be made to the law curtailing the right to work of those associated with kite-making. They said kite-flying should be declared a sport and made part of the youth festivals at the district level to promote the culture of Punjab.

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