Aurat Publication & Information Service Foundation
Women's involvement in peacebuilding is vital for creating lasting peace, Islamabad


Women's involvement in peacebuilding is vital for creating lasting peace

Speakers urged the stakeholders to give more voice to women and highlight their role in different sectors of society at a consultation session organized by Aurat Foundation at a local hotel. Encouraging women's participation in all sectors of society is essential for achieving gender equality. This includes equal opportunities for education, employment, and leadership roles.

Dr. Qibla Ayaz, Chairman, of the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) addressed the gathering and said that our understanding of religion has issues. He said that the government has taken the reins off public schooling and education and has handed this over to the private sector in order to make money and profit. He said that CII has given a recommendation that the national policy of education needs to be reviewed.

Dr. Qibla said that we also have problems as individuals. He said that there is a mental construct among men in this country that women are weak and they cannot work. He urged organizations such as the Aurat Foundation to raise this issue. He added that men also have to raise their voices for women's issues and stand with them.

Ms. Naela Chohan, Special Federal Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that males and females both have separate responsibilities given by God Almighty. All young men and women should be taught how to respect and behave towards each other and we need an empowering environment as well. To ensure the peaceful society, there is a need more inclusive and equitable society where women's voices are heard, and their contributions are acknowledged and valued.

Dr. Zia-ul-Haq, Director General of the Islamic Research Institute, International Islamic University, Islamabad spoke next and said that Aurat Foundation's data on women is considered the most authentic and original throughout the country. He said that a few people began the countering violent extremism (CVE) project of Paigham-e-Pakistan and now thousands of people are part of this movement. He said that primarily the Paigham-e-Pakistan project is about behavioral change. Dr. Zia further added that women in Pakistan these days are not safe from their protectors. He said that although we claim to be a very religious society in actuality we are not the best followers of Islam.

Dr. Shabana Fayyaz, Head of the Department of Defence and Strategic Studies, at Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad said that she was the only woman from her family to start working. She said that the general perception in society is that men cannot eat from a woman's income; however, these perceptions are changing. Additionally, she said that we have not invested in training the women of our country. As an educationist, we have to reduce the violence in our society.

Ms. Beenish Fatima, Deputy Director Cyber Crime Wing, Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) said that first, we need to understand what is extremism. She said that extremism is prevalent in our society, in our educational institutions, etc. in different forms. Furthermore, she said that men in homes are in positions of authority but in their offices, they are not. She said that since the male has been given a dominant status in society we feel the need of males to accompany a woman everywhere. She said that the economy will never be able to grow if half of the society remains in their homes and does not engage in productive work.

Mr. Kashif Irshad, Advisor to the Ministry of National Heritage and Culture of Pakistan said that women's involvement in peacebuilding is vital for creating lasting peace, as they bring unique perspectives and contribute to more inclusive and sustainable solutions. Recognizing and supporting their roles is a key element of advancing peace and security worldwide.

Mr. Shahid Rahim spoke about the need and purpose of the SHE-The Peacebuilder project and introduced it to the gathered audience. He said that a house is created by a builder or an engineer but the beauty of the house is brought out by an architect. He further added that we will organize several other consultations in different provincial capitals in the coming months and will glean recommendations regarding peacebuilding and the role of women in peacebuilding.

Ms. Mumtaz Mughal, Director Programme said that it is vital to ensure adequate representation of women in decision-making processes, both in the public and private sectors. This can include mainstream policies that support women's participation in leadership positions.