PESHAWAR: Different civil society organisations and government departments arranged events in Peshawar and other cities to mark the International Women’s Day on Friday, with the participants highlighting the critical role women were playing in the country’s socioeconomic development.

In Peshawar, a function was organised by TransPeshawar to mark the day. Eminent personalities, women serving in various fields, including Bus Rapid Transit, were honoured with certificates.

Dr Tariq Usman, chief executive officer of TransPeshawar, the operator of BRT, said earlier women didn’t opt to work in the transport sector, but thanks to BRT’s gender action plan, women made 10 per cent of the workforce in the bus service.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Ombudsman Rakhshanda Naz also participated in the event. Other guests included social welfare department’s focal person Amina Durrani, UN Head of Sub-Office Zainab Qaiser Khan, and chairperson of Medical Teaching Institution, Bannu, Aasia Khan.

PDMA launches initiative to ensure safety, dignity of women in emergencies

BRT women employees said the purpose of celebrating Women’s Day was to appreciate the role of women in social improvement and development and to be aware of their rights.

Another ceremony was held in the provincial headquarters of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Emergency Rescue Service (Rescue 1122).

Speaking at another event held in the provincial capital, Peshawar division commissioner Mohammad Zubair said role of women in formation of the best society could not be denied. “Women officers have proved they can provide excellent services in administrative positions like their male counterparts provided they are given the same opportunities and respect as male officers,” he said.

Deputy commissioner Afaq Wazir, additional deputy commissioner (general) Sania Safi, district health officer Dr Idris, assistant commissioners, Peshawar division’s focal person on polio Dr Naveed and women vaccinators also participated in the ceremony.

The participants paid tributes to the 38 women polio workers, who laid their lives in the line of duty.

Certificates and shields were distributed to women officers and polio workers for their outstanding performance in vaccination campaigns and other fields.

Speaking at another even held at a school, assistant commissioner Samira Sabah said Islam gave women the most respectable status as a mother, sister, daughter and wife.

Similarly, Provincial Disaster Management Authority in collaboration with United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) organised an event to commemorate the International Women’s Day.

The event marked a significant step towards addressing gender disparities and promoting women’s empowerment in disaster response and recovery efforts.

PDMA Director General Mohammad Qaisar Khan emphasised the importance of prioritising gender equality in disaster response efforts. He stated: “As we commemorate the International Women’s Day, we also recognise the urgent need to address the critical issues of gender-based violence, particularly in emergency situations.”

In Kohat, speaking at a function held at the Nishtar Special Education Complex on Friday, newly-elected MPA Shafi Jan said the government would impart vocational training and skills to women to enable them to earn a decent living.

Deputy director of the complex Mohammad Hussain, child protection officer Mustafa, social welfare officer Amjid Afridi, teachers and parents of students were in attendance.

Shafi Jan said due to lack of education women were not aware of their constitutional rights.

Children sang national songs and presented tableaus on the occasion.

The MPA distributed cash prizes to the widows and children with disability.

In Lower Dir, speakers at a function said women played a key role in rural economy.

The function was held at the Frontier Corps’ Public School, Balambat.

Women from different walks of life, teachers and students attended the function. Shad Begum, a social activist and winner of the US’s International Woman of Courage Award, 2012, was the chief guest.

Founder of Tribal Women Association Begum Jan Muhammad, who also won the US award in 2008, and has also been awarded with Tamgha-i-Imtiaz, Timergara assistant commissioner Dr Nida Iqbal and others spoke.

They demanded of the government to provide the women with adequate opportunities to play their role in progress and development of the country.

On the occasion, Shad Begum pointed out that ‘invest in women, accelerate progress’ was the theme of the day this year, which meant that investment in women ensured investment in future generations.

Published in Dawn, March 9th, 2024

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