Rural women’s role in society dev highlighted

Published in Pakistan Observer (16 Oct. 2010)
Sana Jamal

Islamabad – To highlight the importance and address the woes of rural women, Oct 15 was celebrated as ‘World Rural Women’s Day’ all over the world.
To mark the World Rural Women Day in Pakistan, a two-day annual conference was arranged by Potohar Organisation for Development Advocacy (PODA) in collaboration with 56 other organizations at Lok Virsa, Islamabad.Firday’s conference was presided over by Federal Minister for Culture Pir Aftab Hussain Shah Jilani and inaugurated by Farzana Raja, Member National Assembly and Chairperson of the Benazir Income Support Programme.

The theme of the conference was “Rural Women, Disaster Mitigation and Peace” where the rural women from across the country participated to articulate the problems they were going through especially after the floods.

“We have chosen the theme of disaster because the rural women are currently in great miseries due to the havoc played by the flood in various parts of the country,” said PODA Director Samina Nazir.

This day is celebrated worldwide to coincide with the World Food Day, in order to emphasize the role played by rural women in food production and food security.Rural women of Pakistan constitute the invisible work force which keeps the family and the rural economy alive, but their labour often goes under-rewarded.

Pakistan rural women are major contributors in agriculture and production fields. A rural woman’s work ranges from crop production, livestock production to cottage industry to household and family maintenance. However her role and dignity has yet not been recognized even after her extended involvement in economy and family at the same time.

The activities of Friday’s event in Islamabad included stalls by rural women artisans displaying different cultural products and folk music programme organized by Lok Virsa.

Dr Fehmida Mirza, speaker National Assembly in her message on World Rural Women day added that due to social injustice, domestic violence and unavailability of basic facilities like health and education, rural women had remained a weak and deprived segment of the Pakistani society.

It is important to note that rural women are the backbone of Pakistan’s economy as they play a dynamic role in progress of the country. Such conferences are significant in order to highlight the problems that the Pakistan rural women have to face each day.Participants of the conference stressed that there was a need to upgrade the women’s skills and knowledge to further increase the production of livestock sector on scientific basis.

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