SWABI - Speakers at a virtual seminar here on Tuesday said that the ‘virus of extremism’ is more dangerous for the soci­ety than the coronavirus and stressed for a major role of women to play to fight the challenges of growing ex­tremism, intolerance and cyber-terrorism in the society in the present circumstances.

The webinar titled ‘Dukhtaran-e-Pakistan: Role of Women in Defeating the Virus of Extremism’ was or­ganized by the Women University Swabi.

In the first session of the workshop, trainer Asfand Ousaf told the participants that the ‘virus of extrem­ism’ is more dangerous than coronavirus as extrem­ist organizations and anti-state elements are using this crisis as an opportunity to launch a propaganda campaign in order to promote their vested interests.

He said such elements are trying to entrap people by promoting specific ideologies on social media. He said thousands of women from Europe and North Africa have voluntarily joined the ranks of such an­ti-state extremist elements in the past few years after getting inspired by their propaganda material availa­ble on social media and the internet.

In the second part of the workshop, psychiatrist Mahnoor Laila threw light on the role woman and teachers can play in countering and preventing ex­tremism and terrorism and building peace and har­mony in the society in the light of Dukhtaran-e-Paki­stan initiative of the government of Pakistan.

She said that according to a research, currently women are more active in raising awareness about coronavirus across the world than men.

She was of the opinion that women empowerment is vital to reining in the forces of terrorism and violent extremism, adding that the women often being the first teachers of children can play a vital role in educat­ing young people to value peace and not destruction.

She also spoke on social and traditional impli­cations of changing societal dynamics and there­by emerging roles of women for peace-building and countering extremism, as well as contemporary chal­lenges and their solutions.

In the last segment of the webinar, the speakers high­lighted the responsibilities the teachers have to fulfill in order to ensure a peaceful and prosperous society.

The participants were sensitized on the risks as­sociated with cyberterrorism and that how can they be helpful in collectively defeating this menace.

At the conclusion of the workshop, the participants pledged to sensitize the younger generation as teach­ers and parents about their role and responsibilities in setting up an inclusive society by eliminating all forms of extremism, terrorism, violence, exploitation and discrimination.