QUETTA, June 13: Political parties should disband their wings for women in order to bring them into the mainstream, speakers said at a workshop organised by Uks, a research and resource centre, on Wednesday.

Participants at the workshop on “women and media” deliberated on women’s problems and role of society. They said there was a need for changing attitude and mindset about women, calling upon media to portray womenfolk in a “positive way”.

A large number of media personalities took part in the two-day workshop. Among the speakers were Huma Khawar, Akbar Sheikh, Seema Kanwal, Saleem Shahid, Talat Rehman, Misbah Irum and Irshad Mastooi.

Saleem Shahid, President of the Quetta Press Club, said political parties should wind up their women’s wings and throw open positions in their main bodies to women. He also called for giving election tickets for general seats to women.

Mr Shahid also opposed job quota for women. “Women should be allowed to compete for government jobs on open merit instead of limiting them to their quota.”

Ms Huma Khan of Uks said men should consult women relatives while taking decisions on important matters. She urged media to highlight issues of gender equality and problems faced by women.

Abdul Bari Baloch said although women of Balochistan were talented, society allowed them to take up teaching jobs only. He alleged that national newspapers and TV channels did not bother to give proper coverage to Balochistan’s women.

Mr Akbar Sheikh said the government should make it binding on newspapers and TV channels to recruit women who have done their masters in mass communication.

Amjad Ali Bhatti said although Baloch society was more liberal than Pakhtun society, both betrayed rigidity on matters related to women.

But, he added, of late there had been a significant increase in the number of women both in the public and private sectors.Abdul  Shakoor Khan stressed the need for a campaign to change attitudes to women as no society can make progress unless women were made part of the mainstream.

Others speakers were Mohammad Nadeem Awan, Noor Elahi Bugti, Imtiaz Chaudhry, Mazhar Chandio, Naseer Bugti and Shahid Rind.

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