ISLAMABAD (APP) - Project Director Gender Reform Action Plan (GRAP) Rehana Hashmi said on Wednesday that GRAP aimed at promoting economic, political and social empowerment of women at the national, provincial and district levels. Talking to this news agency, she said the project was focused on improving the status of women and on achieving gender mainstreaming, equality and promotion of processes through enhancing women participation in governance. The areas of reforms for this include institutional restructuring, policy, budgeting and public expenditure mechanism, womens employment in public sector and womens political participation at all levels. The implementing partners of GRAP are Ministry of Finance, Law, Justice and Human Rights, Labour and Manpower, Information and Broadcasting, Planning and Development Division, Establishment Division, Provincial Development Departments and district governments. Rehana said that gender mainstreaming and women participation in countrys development has pivotal significance. It is an astonishing fact that equality is still not given to women in departments and transformation is needed to reform the society through removing disparities against women. Nations can never progress unless gender disparity is removed from the society, she added. She said women have more than 30 percent representation in political spheres in the country, including 72 women in parliament and others in local councils. She said women empowerment is a matter of changing cognitive attitude. She said women play due role along with their counterparts in diverse fields but never gain recognition or rewards for their tireless efforts. Instead of law and Shariah, women are treated under customs and traditions, she added. Gender mainstreaming is transformation of development process where womens access to resources and productivity is ensured, she said. She said change in mindset of people was essential to make womens role effective in all spheres of life. More than fifty percent of population are women and majority of them are not living up to their inherent potential because of denial of their rights. We must take them along and restore their confidence by making them realise their importance, She said. She proposed that a volunteer group should be formed to visit students at institution level, press clubs and chambers for gender sensitization. Policies and legislation are useless if mindset of people is not changed, she said. Rehana said Islam has given equal status to women but they are facing discriminatory attitude in the developing as well as developed countries. Electronic media has an important role in gender sensitization and if message is conveyed in an effective manner, people will definitely understand and absorb that message, she said.She said women can play dynamic role in bringing revolutionary changes in society and it is responsibility of every individual to respect their rights.