AIOU holds national conference on gender studies

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  • Varsity to publish journal on gender, women studies

Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) on Wednesday held a first-ever national conference on gender studies to promote academic research, relating to females’ role and contribution to the country’s socio-economic development.

An inaugural session of the two-day event was largely attended by the academicians and researchers from all over the country.

Vice Chancellor Professor Dr Shahid Siddiqui announced, on the occasion, that the AIOU will soon publish a research journal on gender and women studies to promote the cause of women. Such event will be made an annual feature, and next year an international conference will be organised to construct and disseminate knowledge so as to enhance respect and social status of females, he added.

Renowned academician and political scientist Dr Saba Gul Kattack was the chief guest at the opening session, while International Islamic University, Department of Sociology Chairman Dr Hazir Ullah was the key-note speaker.

Saba Gul said that giving proper recognition to women is imperative for the development of healthy and prosperous society. Structural and legal barriers in the way of their empowerment must be removed, she added.

The conference was aimed at providing a platform to young researchers to showcase their research work and to help them seeking guidance from their seniors to make it more effective in addressing the socio-economic problems of the society.

During the two-day proceedings, the participants will deliberate upon prevailing perception, practices and possibilities relating to gender’s equality and equity.

Dr Shahid Siddiqui, while highlighting the AIOU’s role in enhancing women’s participation in the educational field said the percentage of their enrolled students have reached to around 56 per cent, among total strength of 1.3 million.

The university has been providing gender education in the different disciplines, since the establishment of its department of gender and women studies about twenty years back. He hoped the conference will provide an opportunity to researchers and scientists to present their studies, exchange experiences, discuss proposals and disseminate results.

The vice chancellor briefed the participants about the university’s targets that were achieved during the last two and years, particularly, in promoting research culture in the country. Twelve research journals were published in a short-time span of time. Twenty-two national and international conferences were arranged to hold in-depth studies in various academic disciplines.

He was of the view that language plays an important role in promoting a rightful perception of the women’s status in the society. He also spoke about the important role of social and educational institutions in enhancing social standard and respect for females.