LAHORE: A large number of rallies, walks and seminars were held to mark International Women’s Day in the city on Thursday.

In true spirit of Women's Day women from across Lahore participated in the Aurat March paying tribute to the late human rights activist Asma Jehangir. The rally started from Hamdard Hall on Lytton Road. Leading women rights activists, civil society representatives and large number citizens participated. 

A seminar was also organized at Hamdard Hall in which Imtiaz Alam of SAFMA addressed. He said there should not be discrimination on the basis of gender and everyone should be given equal rights to become a successful person in society.

On the occasion, Salima Hashmi, Huma Safdar, Sara Sohail, Nusrat Basheer, Abida Chahdry, Khola Wallayat, Maheen Taseer, Rema Taseer and Leena Ghani also spoke. Two female pink rickshaw drivers named Sania Noor and Fehmida were also present. They shared their stories of struggle to get equal opportunity to earn bread and butter for their families in a male dominated society.

Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB) in collaboration with the projects Peaceful Pakistan and Herself organized a seminar on Women’s Day in which participants said Pakistan’s positive future is linked with the empowerment of underprivileged women.

Mrs. Umar Saif said that underprivileged women can be empowered by equipping them with skills to earn in an honorable and dignified manner while being at home. CEO of “Gharpar” Shameelah Ismail shared her experience and said that she has trained 400 female beautician workers who earn Rs.45,000  per month.

Female Captains of a share ride service Azra Ali and Nabeela Ashraf said their experience was challenging and interesting with handsome earnings, however, male passengers were always surprised to see us on the driving seat.

A social worker Saeeda Deep condemned the brutal killings of human beings and called for setting aside religious hatred, sectarianism and prejudice for the peace and prosperity of Pakistan.

Dean of Lahore Cathedral Rev Shahid Miraj in his message on the Women’s Day said no nation can make progress without empowerment of women. “Women today are making great strides in every field. They are serving at top posts. This all has not come down so easily. It reflects the long struggle of activists for the rights of women.

“I salute all the courageous women who have step forward and contributed in the prosperity of the country,” Rev Shahid said.  

Post Graduate Medical College and Ameer Uddin Medical College organized an awareness walk and symposium where a large number of lady doctors, nurses and medical students were present at the auditorium of Punjab Institute of Neuro Sciences.

Principal PGMI Prof. Dr. Ghiasun Nabi Tayyab said that some years back women were working only in the health and education fields but today female participation can be seen in every field.

He said that our great Prophet Mohammad PBUH taught our ladies to play their role in the boundaries of home and in battle field as well.

Prof. Ghiasun Nabi Tayyab said 52 per cent of Pakistan’s population are women and for sustainable development we cannot ignore this segment of society.

In the symposium held in the Lahore General Hospital speakers dilated on this year International Women Day  theme ‘Press for Progress.’

Pakistan People’s Party under the aegis of Samina Khalid Ghurki staged a rally. The PPP workers were holding placards inscribed with slogans ‘I am not half. I am complete’.

ENDS/ FAIZAN ALI WARRAICH