Islamabad, October 15, 2012 (PPI-OT): While paying tribute to the rural women on the “International Rural Women Day” here in Lok Virsa, Federal Minister for National Heritage and Integration Ms Samina Khalid Ghurki said that, “Rural women are our pride and their contribution in rural life is our great asset.”
While highlighting the importance of occasion Federal Minister said that the International Rural Women Day has provided us the golden opportunity to pay tribute to our rural women whose services for rural life, despite having meager resources at their behest, are remarkable. She added that we need to give them ownership of their lands, better access to health, education, livelihood, political representation and their new role in policy making.
The Federal Minister added that in order to promote the women folk artisans, Ministry of National Heritage and Integration has arranged as well as further planned various similar programs and festivals. By such programs rural women can get a platform to gain international business exposure. She further said that rural women and their works get national and international recognition through these initiatives.
The Federal Minister also apprised the audience of the utility of the Benazir Income Support Programme which has been launched by the Government for the social security of rural women. She said that rural women from all four provinces, FATA, GB and Kashmir were equally benefiting from this program and had received aid upto Rs. 70 billion so far.
The Federal Minister examined the great display of work of rural women and appreciated their skills. She ensured that government would leave no stone unturned for promotion of their art.
The Federal Minister also appreciated the efforts of PODA (Potohar Organization for Development Advocacy) for successfully arranging the 5th Annual International Rural Women Day, which has provided an opportunity to rural women of more then 80 districts of Pakistan to display their handicrafts.
In her concluding remarks Federal Minister said that rural women were the custodian of our great cultural values, and their role in the rural life of Pakistan was highly important. She said, without them rural life was incomplete.
Officials from Embassy of Norway, Canada and European Union, Ms Nafisa Shah Secretary Women Caucus, Senator Robina Khalid, and Representatives from FAO and UN Women were also present on the occasion.
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