ISLAMABAD - Minister of State for Information, Broadcasting, National History and Literary Heritage Marriyum Aurangzeb speaking at a ceremony with regard to International Day of Women organised by the women committee of Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan here Saturday, said that the women, who were playing an active role in the empowered society, must make efforts to bring forward the women from the backward areas.

The minister said that the Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) government had initiated a number of measures to ensure equal rights for women, including enrolment of girls in schools under the BISP and establishment of coding cloud training institutions at the ICT level to impart skill to the girls who for some reason could not go to school, in collaboration with Microsoft under which 150,000 girls were graduating annually.

She said women also had representation in the parliament where there were 17 percent reserved seats for them, besides five percent quota on general seats which was also supplementing the efforts to empower women.

The minister said that the first phase of empowering the women began at home and sending girls to school along with the male children should be our first priority. There was imperative need for collective efforts by the society to empower the women at the lower level, she added. She said that the subjects pertaining to women empowerment should be included in the curricula of the primary schools.

Marriyum informed the audience that the PTV Sports channel had launched a programme on women sports to highlight their participation in the sports for the first time adding that media could play a vital role for the rights of women.

She said that the government took serious notice of the regrettable incidents of child abuse in the country recently and a parliamentary committee had been constituted which would suggest necessary legislative measures and other steps to prevent child abuse.

The minister said that the efforts at the federal level were also on the anvil to revise the national curricula which would ensure the strengthening of the process of women empowerment.

She said that the syllabus of schools should also include subjects on status and importance of women in the society so that the children become part of the endeavours to empower women when they grow up. In addition to that subjects on climate change, environment and other important social issues should also be part of the syllabus so that necessary awareness could be created at the lower level, she added.

Marriyum observed that the women committee of Chartered Accountants Institute was playing a significant role in promoting the concept of equal rights for women. She said that they should raise voice for the women belonging to areas where opportunities were not available and also make them part of the effort. The minister said that the pictures pertaining to Pakistan movement clearly indicated that the Quaid-i-Azam always had Fatima Jinnah besides him although she did not have a formal position in the party.

She said that it was imperative to build confidence in women at the family level. She said that the women themselves had a vital role in their empowerment and they should hold each other’s hand. She said that all institutions and departments would have to come forward for the mainstreaming of women.

The minister said that the narrative of empowering women would have to be reinforced, adding that women were capable of contributing in every sphere of the national life. She said that in addition to holding such functions people from the lower level would also have to be taken along.