Seminar: Feudal system held responsible for women atrocities

KHAIRPUR: To commemorate International Women’s Day, a one day seminar with the theme of ‘The Social Economic and Political Status of Women: National, Regional and International Perspective’ was held at Allama II Kazi Hall of Shah Abdul Latif University SALU Khairpur on Friday.

The seminar was jointly organized by PakUS Alumni Network Sukkur in collaboration with Institute of Gender Studies SALU Khairpur.

Prof Dr Mohammad Yousuf Khushk Pro-Vice Chancellor SALU Khairpur presided over the seminar. Ms Ghulam Sughra Solangi, noted social leader was the chief guest on the occasion.

Speaking on this occasion, Dr Yousuf Khushk said International Women Day is celebrated on 08th March around the world, so many groups around the world choose different themes each year relevant to the global and local gender issues, and this year the theme is the “Gender agenda: gaining momentum”. There is Chinese proverb “Women Hold the Half the Sky”.

Dr Yousuf Khushk said this may be true demographically but politically it is far from reality. The presence of certain women on the political scene can be traced back to the middle ages when the queen rules vast empires, however, their numerical presentation in legislature and at executive positions remained very thin.

He said that the modern political arena presents some interesting facts and in the West, women political representation rise with the evolution with the feminist movement. Women are still facing gender identity crises, he said.

Dr Khushk said that the empowerment of women is essential in order to bring them on political dimension. They could strive for the pursuit of their fundamental rights. It is high time to eradicate poverty, menace of honour killing and harassment at work places.

He said that Millennium Development Goals MGDs were set by United Nations in 2000 in which all 193 United Nations members states and 23 international organizations have agreed to achieve these goals by the year 2015. Promoting gender equality and empowering women, reducing child mortality rates, achieving universal primary education, eradication extreme poverty and hunger etc is the need of the hour.

Ms Ghulam Sughra Solangi said that there is victimization against rural women as they are deprived of their rights. “Education is a dynamic force which could provide the rights to women. It is irony that even in rural areas of Pakistan girls are restricted from getting the education.”

She said the feudal system is responsible for the deprivation and atrocities against women, however, media has played a positive role for indicating honour killing, torture and harassment against women. She said that we have extended support to 130,000 women in rural areas of Sindh in the field of education, sanitation and poverty eradication.

Syeda Yusra Javed from Teachers Development Centre, Karachi in her speech said that social inequality, religious intolerance and prejudices are rampant in the society as a result, Sufism appears to have risen like a movement in Sindh.
She said that Shah Latif’s creative mind gave every creation such an image that became universal, Sassui stands for sorrow, suffering and separation, Marvi depicts patriotism, preferring death over dishonor, Sohni stands for utmost sacrifice for the ultimate the supreme Maher, so the three heroines of Shah depicted virtue, suffering and sacrifices.
Iqbal Detho, a human rights activist and National Manager SPARC, said that the awareness of human rights is very essential for the promotion of human rights.

Syed Pir Mohammad Shah SSP Sukkur presented the dismal state of affairs of women and deprivation of women’s rights. He said that due to tribalism, feudalism and personal biases, the women were killed on the basis of honour killing. He said that various steps have been taken by the government like the establishment of Human Rights , Women Protection and Child Protection Cells respectively and creation of the post of Provincial Ombudsman against the harassment of women at work places. He said that seminars would bring big change in our society and in political aspects, women are compelled to cast their vote without choices.

Javed Sadiq Cultural & Education Advisor US Consulate Karachi, Sarfaraz Korejo General Secretary PakUS Alumni Association Sukkur, Dr Pirzada Incharge Institute of Gender Studies, Dr Najma Noor Phulpoto Chairperson Department of Sociology shed a light on the significance of the day. Deans, professors, teachers and large number of students attended the ceremony.