Call for empowering women to advance society

Syed Abbas Gardezi
Wednesday, Dec 21, 2022

MUZAFFARABAD: Women participation at both micro and macro levels empowers them to develop the ability and competence to counter conflicts peacefully. Without a vocal approach and constructive intervention, it is difficult to women to act as leaders and change-makers.

This was said by National Defence University (NDU) Professor Dr Shaheen Akhtar on Tuesday. She was leading a training session that the Center for Peace, Development and Reforms had organized. The one-day event was attended by 25 Azad Jammu and Kashmir women.

Dr Akhtar emphasised the necessity of structural reforms and policies in advancing women’s participation in Azad Jammu and Kashmir’s socioeconomic life. According to her, the impact of the Kashmir conflict circumscribed women majority in drafting and execution of strategic plans embodying policy-making and hampered their functioning in core spaces. In this background, empowering women in crisis must be one of the most important tasks.

She underlined the need to develop a network of established women mediators who can run advocacy campaigns. “It is vital to recognize the contribution and efforts of women in the peace-making process for meaningful results as they constitute 49% of the Azad Jammu Kashmir population,” she emphasized, adding that the very existence of empowered women demanded termination of conventional patriarchal practices for a befitting governance. Their representation requires acceptability and substantial validity for participation and ratified output. Unfortunately, due to socio-cultural and financial constraints, AJK women question their strength, otherwise they can play role in the peace-making and conflict resolution.