LAHORE: Federal Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal has stated that Pakistan cannot advance and compete with the rest of the world unless women, who make up half of the population, participate in the social and economic system.
He was addressing the 4th International Seerat Conference on the theme of ‘Social Responsibilities of Women and Seerat-e-Tayyaba’ by the Punjab University Institute of Islamic Studies at Sheik Zayed Islamic Centre Auditorium.
Dean Faculty of Islamic Studies Prof Dr Hammad Lakhvi, Director IIS Dr Shahida Parveen, teachers and students were present.
Mr Iqbal said that the emergence of the industrial revolution and the knowledge economy had transformed the concept of the distribution of labour among males and females.
He said the distribution of labour between women and men started in the agricultural era, while in the industrial revolution and afterwards, mental abilities and knowledge became the means of development for the country. He said the guiding principles of Islam regarding women spread light that benefited the whole world.
Mr Iqbal said that we have to change our thinking about the role of women in society because they are not less than men in any respect.
He said that no country could afford to keep women away from the development process, and they should get into a proactive mode and prepare people for intellectual leadership.
He said they would have to find solutions to the present challenges, and if not, they would not be able to satisfy the young generation.
Mr Iqbal stated that Seerat-e-Tayyaba is a beacon of light, and when we adopted Islamic principles, we became the greatest power in the world.
He said that non-Muslims had also carefully studied Islamic teachings and adopted many of their principles.
He said that the Islamic system of social justice was unmatched in any human civilization of that era, and that system attracted every non-Muslim towards our religion.
He said that it is the fault of the Muslim Ummah that it believes in these principles but does not act upon them.
He said that after Hulagu Khan’s attack on Baghdad, our knowledge and leadership suffered a great blow, and we also have the problem that we always reject innovation at the beginning.
Dr Hammad Lakhvi said that it was the right of women to move forward, which was given to them by Islam. He said that Allah and Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH) have shown more respect to women on occasion.
Dr. Shahida Parveen stated that when the revelation was revealed to Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH), Hazrat Khadija encouraged him.
She said that women should be equipped with social consciousness, and in the light of his teaching, women were seen working in all fields.
She said that women were playing a dynamic role in creating a successful and excellent society.
Published in Dawn, January 24th, 2023