Dr Shehnaz Ganai Ex MLC today organised a first of its kind women convention at Poonch, in which an overwhelming crowd of women from all the areas of Mandi and Poonch participated. Needless to mention here that this is for the first time when the participation of women in a public function has been witnessed in Poonch. The convention of women was organised with an objective to share the ideas of women of the rural areas who constitute the half of the population of the area and who don’t get a chance to express their views on development and thus the welfare of the society.
Highlighting the potential of rural women to improve the well-being of entire societies if given equal access to resources and set free from the discrimination and exploitation that holds them back, Dr Ganai emphasized the need to launch the fight for the right campaign of women. Generally women get what is left behind and we need to change this mindset, as women and girls make up around half of our population and, yet they routinely figure at the bottom of every economic, social and political indicator, from income, education and health to participation in decision-making, Dr Ganai said.
While speaking Dr Ganai said that women’s full and equal participation in the political and economic arena is fundamental to democracy and justice, which people are demanding. Equal rights and opportunity underpin healthy economies and societies. Dr Ganai acknowledged that women are increasingly exercising greater influence in business, government, public administration and other professions. Also, more girls are going to school and are growing up healthier and better equipped to realize their potential. “But, despite this momentum, there is a long way to go before women and girls can be said to enjoy the fundamental rights, freedom and dignity that are their birthright and that will guarantee their well-being,” said Dr Ganai.
Dr Ganai said that the for women empowerment and other women issues we have always been asking before the male dominated political parties to give due representation to females, and this mentality needs to be changed and we need to realize that no one is going to empower the women, it is we our selves who have the power to empower our selves by coming out of our homes and join the fight for our rights campaign, so that the women in the state are empowered enough to take their decisions independently in every field which our constitution also guarantees.
In politics you have voted since independence to choose male leaders, but this time being the daughter of the soil I have decided to contest the coming assembly elections and shall be representing and shall become your voice in the assembly, but for this you will have to carry forward this mission and spread the message in your communities about the Vote for change and fight for right campaign, said Dr Ganai.
Our women perform most of the unpaid care work in rural areas and are a major part of the agricultural labour force. By empowering rural women we could end the hidden development tragedy of stunting, which affects our rural children.
While referring Dr Ganai said that history proves women are competent leaders and contrary to the perception about females in Islam, a closer look at the history of Islamic civilisation reveals active engagement of Muslim women in state matters, community affairs and juristic decision-making. From the aspect of governance, historical records show that Muslim women were involved in leadership positions in the marketplace during the reign of Umar ibn Al-Khattab (634-644), the second caliph who assumed the title “Commander of the Faithful”.
Aisha Abu Bakar, the Prophet’s wife, was another famous female scholar in Islamic history. She was recognised as the great scholar in Islamic jurisprudence (fiqh) during the early rise of Islam, and her lectures always attracted large crowds, consisting of both men and women. Also the Prophet’s companions used to consult Aisha when they had different opinions on a particular subject. From the early days until today, the Muslim community has benefited from her teachings of hadith and fatwa (juristic opinions).
In the present times we have seen Great Margaret Thatcher and Mrs Indra Gandhi, that they were the first women to take charge of a largely male-dominated political world of their respective countries, and that these women leaders had an almost identical steely resolve on difficult issues.
Dr Ganai said that late Madr-e-Meharban Begum Noor Jahan, Parliamentarian, a geat leader and a social worker of Jammu and Kashmir, was an ardent advocate of women’s rights as equal citizens of the country, She also strived for creating effective forums for women empowerment and representation. She articulated a multi-dimensional approach to enhancing women’s role as Parliamentarians and history speaks that women are the best leaders, and they have proved themselves in every challenge said Dr Ganai.
Dr Ganai said that without women’s empowerment and gender equality, societies will not be able to achieve the Millennium Development Goals and their full development potential. We need to promote women’s rights, so that they could be “agents of change” for sustained socio-economic development and security around all the regions and sub regions of the state.