The esteemed place ascribed to women in our society is one of the greatest hallmarks of Pakistani culture. However, unfortunately due to lack of safe and decent living facilities in big cities, women have been barred from getting higher education or pursuing the career of their choice. There is no denying the fact that access to a secure, affordable and reliable accommodation is a pre-condition to women economic empowerment. Keeping this in mind, the Punjab government is working to make that happen.

Thanks to Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar who is committed to empower women and is evident from the fact that the government has established Women Hostel Authority (WHA), the first of its kind in Pakistan. The establishment of Women Hostel Authority is a ground-breaking initiative that will enhance women access to public services and help them foster their potential in an enabling and safe environment. With the establishment of WHA, no woman who has a potential and desire to work, stops working because of lack of accommodation facilities.

Likewise, despite a steady rise in the share of women, especially mothers, in the workforce these working women have to face many difficulties for the upbringing of their children. To address this issue, the government has decided to establish day care centers in 28 private institutions at a cost of Rs 250 million for the infants and kids of the female officials and officers to provide shelter and security to them during the working hours of the mothers of these kids.

The establishment of WHA and Daycare Centers is certainly a meaningful effort towards enhancing women participation and access to economic opportunities but need of the hour is to plan more and more such projects for the facilitation and welfare of the working women in the province. Only words will not do anything until they are followed by actions because by standing shoulder to shoulder with men, women are playing a vital role in Pakistan’s national reconstruction and uplift. They have shown their worth as leaders and administrators, and that time is not far off when Pakistan will have at the helm of affairs, women who will lead the country from strength to strength.

SYED ALI QASIM,

Lahore.