LAHORE - The International Women’s Day was observed across the country on Saturday for highlighting the role of women in progress of the society. Seminars, walks and exhibitions were arranged both at the government and private levelto mark the day. Inaugurating an exhibition in Lahore, Punjab Social Welfare Minister Syed Haroon Sultan Bukhari said that no society could progress without active participation of women. Secretary Social Welfare Fahmida Mushtaq, government officers and heads of various social organizations attended the function.He said the Punjab government has made 25 percent women members in Punjab Public Service Commission whereas their quota in jobs has been increased from 5 to 15 percent. Similarly, a lady police official has been posted at each police station for resolving the problems of women, he added.At the end, Haroon Sultan and Fahmida Mushtaq inspected stalls set up by sanatzars, Qasar-e-Behbood and other social organizations. Speaking as chief guest at a funtion in Rawalpindi Fatima Jinnah Women University (FJWU), Justice (r) Nasira Iqbal insisted upon giving equal opportunities to women. "Women should know their rights and must practice them in order to progress," she stresse .FJWU Registrar Dr Humaira Ahmed said if women were socio-economically well equipped then the nation's future would be strong and dynamic. Meanwhile, Rawalpindi Arts Council (RAC) in collaboration with "Sukhanwar" arranged a poetic siting . PML-N MNA Tahira Aurangzeb was chief guest while former Resident Director RAC Naheed Manzoor presided over the mushaira. Renowned poetess Farkhanda Shamim and Farheen Chaudhry were guests of honour and Javeria Ambreen anchored the mehfil-e-mushaira.The poetesses from Rawalpindi/Islamabad who recited their poetry on feminine issues were Ismat Sultan, Jia Qureshi, Farheen Chaudhry, Farah Deeba, Noshaba Adnan, Saima Batool, Javeria Ambreen, Nida Rizvi, Nikhat Seema, Riffat Waheed, Farzana Jannan and Rubina Shad.Addressing the mushaira, MNA Tahira Aurangzeb said that government was providing equal opportunity to the women in every walk of life. She said it was our national responsibility to protect women's rights at any cost. Naheed Manzoor said that RAC not only provide platform to poetess of the region but also gave opportunity to express their emotions. In Peshawar, girl students and faculty of various departments of the University of Peshawar celebrated the Women’s Day .The event was organised by the administration of University of Peshawar, in which female students of Jinnah College for Women, College of Home Economics, University Model School and Benazir Bhutto University participated. An inspiring change was visible from the message conveyed on the International Women Day (IWD) function held at Convocation Hall, University of Peshawar on Saturday."Pakistani women are most resilient creature and can achieve anything if provided with requisite opportunities," said Farah Hamid, Secretary Higher Education, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, in her speech on the occasion. She said that girl students of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province were second to none in the country, as despite the challenging situations female education ratio was on a constant incline across the province.Farah urged that in a male dominated society the women should work more hard to achieve excellence in different fields, adding the prevailing deprivation among the women could only be taken care of, if sensitisation of women folks is done in an organized manner.At the end awards were distributed among the participating students and women achievers in the field of education. The function was attended by legendry singer Mahjabeen Qazalbash, Bushra Hameed, female students and faculty members.Similarly, at a function organised by Gandhara Hindko Board, a literary, cultural and social welfare organization, at its central office urged women folk to get awareness about their legal rights as it would help enable them to lead a secure and prosperous life.A writer and teacher of the English literature at the Government College, Prof Dr Ghazala Yousaf, presided over the programme. Assistant Professor Gulnaz Arshad, a poet and writer, was the chief guest.This news was published in The Nation newspaper. Read complete newspaper of 09-Mar-2014 here.