Women, we love you!


Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has announced a package of comprehensive and far-reaching reforms to bring women into national mainstream. The purpose of the package is to safeguard social, economic and legal rights of women as well as their empowerment. The women will now also be able to get their legal share in the inherited property without any hindrance.
He was addressing a function held in connection with International Women’s Day at Alhamra Cultural Complex, Qaddafi Stadium on Thursday. The function was also addressed by Shah Bano Taseer, Samar Minallah, the first woman major general of the country Shahida Malik, the top position holder in matriculation examination in all educational boards of Punjab Amina Sattar, the youngest recipient of laptop Navera and former chief justice Saeed uz Zaman Siddique.
Prominent poetess and columnist Kishwar Naheed read out her poems while Tina Sani presented songs. Female students, social workers from civil society and working women were present in large numbers in the function. Stalls had also been set up by different departments and NGOs.
The CM also announced provision of three and five marla plots to shelterless people in Jinnah Abadi Schemes for their socio-economic uplift and said the proprietary rights of these plots will be awarded jointly to husband and wife.
He further announced that 33 percent quota for women will be compulsory in all government institutions, committees and taskforces while 33 percent quota will also be reserved for women members in Punjab Public Service Commission. He said day-care centres will be established in all educational and government institutions so that married women could work peacefully. He said a special fund worth Rs 2 billion was being set up through Punjab Bank for the economic self-reliance of women and loans would be offered to them on soft terms. He said a 15 percent quota had also been reserved for women in government jobs and legislation for this purpose will be undertaken within a month.
He announced appointment of a senior officer of Punjab government, Iram Qureshi as Women Development secretary. The CM announced the appointment of Women Ombudsman so that working women should not face any harassment or exploitation. He announced setting up of a committee for the effective implementation of these measures and said women constituted more than 50 per cent of country’s population and are playing an important role in all sectors of life.
He praised the efforts of women as nurses, doctors, students and mothers. He said lady doctors and nurses had rendered invaluable services during recent floods and dengue attack and had saved thousands of lives. He said highly educated women should not quit their job after marriage and continue to serve the country on the basis of their knowledge and experience. He said women should play their due role for bringing a positive change in the country so as to eliminate exploitation from the country and ensure equal opportunities to all citizens including women in the process of national development. Announcing the package for the welfare of women, the CM said it had been decided to withdraw the condition of submitting application for the transfer and division of joint land in rural areas among the legal heirs. He said the revenue officers would be duty-bound to initiate the process of transfer of land at the death of its owner without waiting for the application and also complete the process of division of land so that all legal heirs including women were granted their due legal share.