RAWALPINDI - Speakers at the conclusion of a three-day workshop here on Wednesday maintained that the role of women is vital to develop­ing a peaceful and a tolerant soci­ety, and that a community based on the principles of social in­clusion in line with the spirit of Dukhtaran-e-Pakistan initiative of the government of Pakistan is the way forward towards establishing peace and prosperity in the coun­try.

The workshop titled ‘Dukhtaran-e-Pakistan Envoy of Peace: Vision 2020’ was organized by Fatima Jinnah Women Univer­sity, Rawalpindi, in collaboration with the Punjab government. A large number of faculty members, academics and students attended the event.

The three-day seminar is first of the series of programs to be held with the objective to highlight the role of women for establishing a peaceful and stable Pakistan.

Minister of State for Parliamen­tary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan was the chief guest while Minister Women Development Punjab Ash­ifa Riaz Fatyana was the guest of honour.

The speakers stressed the need for socio-economic independence of women to counter the prevalent challenges like hatred, extremism, violence and terrorism.

“Women are natural leaders and they have the key to peace and de­velopment of a nation,” Ali Mu­hammad Khan said while address­ing the seminar. “The time has come for young women to realize their potential and skills. Valuable role of women within family and the society to counter extremism and terrorism cannot be denied,” he added.

Ashifa Riaz Fatyana talked about the importance of women as catalysts of change in the so­ciety. She said the women con­stitute half of population of the country and therefore have a sig­nificant role to play in the societal development.

MPA Farah Agha stressed that women can play an important role in making society a better place. “Women are no lesser than men, they make the family strong enough to work and build a soci­ety. We have to give women equal opportunities like men,” she said.

FJWU Vice Chancellor Dr Saima Hamid said both women and men are equal and respectable in terms of human dignity. She said Islam is the religion that elevates the sta­tus of women and draws attention towards the pivotal role a woman can play in strengthening the soci­ety and the state.

Lahore College for Women Uni­versity VC Prof Dr Bushra Mirza on the occasion said the participa­tion of women for the progress of any country is undeniable.

Rawalpindi RPO Sohail Habib Tajik expressed his views about gender gap and women’s involve­ment in society. He said women’s financial empowerment is crucial for closing the gender gap.

He said gender parity at educa­tional, economic, political and rep­resentative fronts makes prosper­ity and change inevitable.