ISLAMABAD, Aug 2: The federal cabinet has approved 10 per cent quota for women in Central Superior Services, said secretary Ministry of Women Development Sohail Safdar.

He was speaking at a medals distribution ceremony on Tuesday in connection with the 113th birth anniversary of Ms Fatima Jinnah at which 59 eminent personalities including Mirwala gang- rape victim Mukhtaran Mai and four men supporters and promoters of women rights were given awards for their achievements.

The federal secretary reiterated the measures being taken by the government for improving women’s status in the society and ensuring that they get their rights.

Mr Safdar contended that it was because of the efforts of the government that the women were now better represented in every institution and field of life.

Paying rich tributes to Ms Fatima Jinnah, he said, Quaid’s sister played an important role in making and strengthening of Pakistan.

Adviser to the Prime Minister for Women Development Nilofer Bakhtiar, on this occasion, said Fatima Jinnah was a symbol of gender equality and had the unique distinction of being the first woman in the world to contest presidential elections.

About the selection of recipients of the Fatima Jinnah awards, she said, they were decided in manner in which almost all the regions and professions were represented including the women serving in uniform.

The awards ceremony, she said, would be held annually so that those who strive for higher goals could be honoured and that they set examples for other women.

Urging the women to excel in their respective fields, she called for a joint struggle to attain their rights. “The ministry cannot all alone achieve this for you.”

Ms Bakhtiar said under present circumstances no one could stop the women from coming up and attaining higher positions and respect in the society.

The recipients in different categories are: Life time achievement award, Begum Akhtar Riazuddin, Begum Zari Sarfraz, Fatima Sughra, Begum Tazeen Faridi; Male promoter of women issues / women rights activists, Hamid Mir, Naeem Ahmad, Barrister Zaffarullah, Justice (retired) Nasir Aslam Zahid.

The award for courage and bravery was given to Ms Mukhtaran Mai, Dr Maryam Bibi, Jannat Bibi.

Education-I to Ms Sameen Akhtar, Ms Nafeesa Bibi, Dr Saira Akhtar; Education-II to Prof (Dr) Fazeelat Tahira, Prof (Dr) Khadija Ali, Ms Rehana.

In agriculture the award was given to Ms Shamim Kazmi, Dr Rubina Akhtar, Ms Zebun Nisa Imrani.

In economy-I the award went to Ms Masudah Ahmad, Ms Nadia Raja, Ms Humairah Hashmi and in economy-II the award was given to Ms Shaukat Bibi, Ms Nova, Ms Zulekha Bibi.

In media-I the award went to Syeda Farkhanda Shaheen, Ms Sitara Farman, Ms Shahida Parveen. The gold medalist Farkhanda Shaheen has directed several talk shows, discussion programmes, songs and dramas highlighting violence against women and gender issues. She directed a famous talk show in 1996-97, a drama Sahar honay ko hai, written by Hasina Moeen, a talk show ‘Aik Sawal’ She recently directed a famous song on karo- kari. In Media-II category Shireen Mazari, Ms Nargis Baloch, Ms Babra Rizvi received the award.

In art category the award went to Ms Sheema Kermani, Ms Naheed Manzoor, Ms Nigar Nazar and for voluntary service Ms Seema Aziz, Ms Shaheena Khan, Ms Fehmida Sultan got the award.

In science the 10-year old Arfa Karim Randhawa, Dr Saima Riazuddin, Dr Shahzia Anjum were given awards.

Women in uniform-I, civil armed forces, category the award was given to Ms Neelma Naheed Durrani, Ms Yasmeen Afroze, and Guard Samina Nasreen. In women in uniform-II category S/Lt Naheed Akhtar, Maj Tabassum Kousar, Group Capt Shahida Parveen were given the award.

In health category the award was given to Prof (Dr) Ghazala Mehmood, Ms Zakia Hashmi, Prof Afroze Ramzan.

In the category of women and girl disabilities Ms Parveen Shahnaz, Ms Waheeda Gul, and Dr Maryam Mallick received the award,

For best women councillor Ms Riffat Sarwar, Ms Rahima Qadir, and Ms Mangla Sharma received the award.

In the field of dentistry Brig Shahnaz Naseem Riaz, Ms Sadaf Arif, and Ms Madiha Batool were given the award.

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