PM stresses equal opportunities for women

Bureau report
Wednesday, Jul 12, 2023


By News Desk

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Tuesday stressed on equal opportunities for womenfolk as they consist of half of the country’s population and were playing varying roles at different strata of society.

He was addressing the launching ceremony of the Prime Minister’s Initiative for Women Empowerment, which is being initiated at a total cost of Rs10.4 billion. The prime minister said the country’s womenfolk were an effective and energetic segment, playing effective roles in families and society as mothers, sisters, wives and daughters.

He observed that in the last 75 years, the required opportunities for women’s empowerment were not sufficient and stressed upon making further efforts for securing women’s rights, including inheritance rights and creation of opportunities in a conducive environment, so that they could contribute meaningfully and productively in society. “Look around the Muslim world and the West, the women have played their due role for the progress and prosperity of their respective nations,” he added. Lauding different prominent women personalities of the country, he said that they had served as great ambassadors of Pakistan in different capacities. Commending the rural women, he said that the ratio of rural area women in the national building capacity was immense as they had been working in fields alongside men. He further observed that to achieve a place among the comity of nations, both genders of the country had to work together, and underlined the need for provision of financial and actual opportunities in different fields.

About the creation of the Shuhada Fund initiative, he said it was their duty as the martyrs had sacrificed their lives for the protection of the motherland and saved generations. There could be no other precedent of bravery and valour than their sacrifice, he said, adding their bereaved families deserved honour and support.

Meanwhile, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, during a telephonic conversation with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, assured his full support to Pakistan in a battle against poliovirus. During the call, the prime minister “appreciated the valuable support” extended by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to Pakistan in polio eradication and improving immunisation, nutrition, and financial inclusion, particularly during last year’s catastrophic floods. He also “reaffirmed Pakistan’s desire to further strengthen the fruitful partnership with the Foundation in all the ongoing areas of cooperation.” Bill Gates lauded the incumbent government’s efforts to fight polio and vowed to continue to provide full support to Pakistan to prevent polio.

In a related development, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif launched the Prime Minister’s National Laptop Scheme for the students of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, including the merged districts.

Governor Ghulam Ali, Caretaker Chief Minister Muhammad Azam Khan, Federal Minister for Information Marriyum Aurangzeb, National Assembly deputy speaker Zahid Akram Durrani, Special Assistant for Youth Affairs Shaza Fatima, Adviser to Prime Minister Amir Muqam, federal and provincial ministers, chairman HEC and others attended the ceremony at the Governor’s House.

Distributing laptops among the position holder students, the prime minister said that the laptops were being distributed strictly on merit. “I will not tolerate favouritism or nepotism in the distribution of laptops,” he said, adding, about 100,000 laptops would be distributed among students in the country this year. The prime minister said that the laptops distributed by the PMLN government had greatly helped students to continue their studies during Covid-19. He appreciated the sacrifices of the people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

APP adds: Shehbaz announced an increase in laptops distribution from existing 100,000 to 400,000 in accordance with the province’s population ratio per year if voted to power. He said that quality research and education were imperative for sustainable development and economic growth.

Earlier, the prime minister inaugurated the Fata University Phase 1 constructed with an estimated cost of Rs1.5 billion after its foundation was laid by the previous PMLN government. He suggested changing the name of Fata University after consultation with tribal elders and elected representatives of merged areas.