MULTAN - Commissioner Multan Division Muhammad Khurram Agha declared on Saturday that Chief Minister Women Empowerment Package would extend equal opportunities to the women in all walks of life besides providing them full protection.

Addressing a seminar held in connection with “Gender Reforms Action Plan,” he added that the action plan would ensure equal political and economic opportunities to the women and anyone harassing working women would have to face either a minimum of Rs100,000 fine and imprisonment. He said that the steps being taken by the Punjab Government would prove a key initiative in movement for women emancipation in the country.

He said that the role of women in progress of any nation was very important but unfortunately they faced severe difficulties in Pakistan. He pointed out that the women were subjected to sexual harassment but recent Women Harassment and Workplace Act would protect them from this kind of exploitation. He said that the Punjab government enhanced women’s job quota to ensure their inclusion in mainstream. “It is need of the hour that we understand the importance and role of women in success of nations,” he added.

Speaking on the occasion, gender specialist Rana Shahid Mahmood said that Women Resource Centres were set up at each district under the Action Plan to resolve women-related issues. He added that the centres would adopt practical measures to empower women and get them social justice. He pointed out that the government was bound to ensure elimination of all biases and negative customs regarding women under international laws. He told the participants that 65 per cent women were illiterate as 70 per cent girls could not join school. He further revealed that 60 per cent women extended free assistance to their relatives while performing different jobs. He said that the Women Development Department was striving hard to create awareness among the masses on importance of women in the society.