PAKISTAN: Rural Women Want Land Right, Jobs, Protection Against Violence

Sunday, June 2, 2013
Pakistan Observer
Southern Asia
PeaceWomen Consolidated Themes: 
General Women, Peace and Security
Human Rights
Sexual and Gender-Based Violence

Rural Women demands right to land, employment quota for rural women, protection of violence against women and a comprehensive framework for implementation of women protection laws to ensure rights and help them to become productive members of society. Talking to APP here, Executive Director Potohar Organization for Development Advocacy (PODA), Samina Nazir said that they would seek special attention of upcoming government to the issue of rural women which were not adequately highlighted in past.

She said to empower rural women they urged that one acre free land would be given to landless woman so that she could be able to earn respectable living and support her family rather than being exploited by the landlords. Samina further said the upcoming government should introduce specific program for rural women focusing on their requirements and challenges, as their problems are different from urban women and in past same policies for all were not proved quite affective for them.

“The patriarchal society norms and dominant male culture in rural areas creates hindrances for women”, she said adding, “there is need to design special program for them which would help facilitate them at grass root level”. She also opined that incentives for small and medium entrepreneurs would also help expand their opportunities and increase their confidence to utilize their abilities to raise their income resources despite their limited mobility and cultural issues.

The ratio of education and opportunities for rural women are quite less than those of urban women and to bring them at par with all, it is imperative to address their issues particularly, the executive director said. Rural women lack training opportunities for establishing their outlets and if they would be imparted skills of running small and medium enterprises, they could get decent earnings of their hard work, she said.

Samina also sought for fixing quota of rural women in high position government and private sector jobs like administration, judiciary, management to develop healthy competition among them and opens ways for their future. She also sought a concrete strategy for implementation of women protection laws which would ensure conducive working environment for them and raise their voices against any discrimination.