The seminar on “Role of leaders in the empowerment of women” were held on Sarai Saleh, Haripur, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province of Pakistan organized by the Embassy of the Republic of Azerbaijan to Paksitan in collaboration with Pakistan-Azerbaijan Alumni Assosiation and Government Girls Degree College of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province of Pakistan.
Emphasizing growing role of women in the socio-political, economic, and cultural life, Ambassador of Azerbaijan Ali Alizada said that gender equality has been one of the remarkable achievements in national statehood history of Azerbaijan. He explained that this success, on the one hand, have arisen from rich traditions of the emphasis on women’s significant role in Azerbaijani society, and women policy priorities of the Government of Azerbaijan on the other.
Ambassador noted that universal suffrage provided in Azerbaijan in 1918, effectively made Azerbaijan the first state in the Muslim world to grant women their political rights.Referring to the increase of women’s role in the Azerbaijani society in every passing year after Azerbaijan regained independence in 1991, he assessed National Leader Heydar Aliyev’s coming to power in 1993 as an another turning point in social, political, economic and cultural life of Azerbaijan. Highlighting special attention and care paid by Heydar Aliyev for the solutions to Azerbaijani women’s problems and the measures to expand the role of women in life, Ambassador stressed that all reforms in this regard implemented by the government have led Azerbaijani women to new heights.
Mentioning the fact that the state policy crafted by National Leader of Azerbaijan is being continued, Ambassador expressed that decisions taken by the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev such as including the solution of women's issues to the priorities of state policy have made great achievements in this direction. Namely, the number of female members in National Assembly has increased 4 times in past 20 years. At present, 16 percent of 125 National Assembly are women. The first vice-president of Azerbaijan and some other leaders of different authorities are also ladies. The number of women elected to municipalities increased 6 times and reached 35 percent. Women account for around 30 percent of government employees and 22 percent of entrepreneurs in Azerbaijan. Azerbaijani society values education, so, 90-95 percent of women graduated from secondary school education.
Ambassador also said, “The best place to start empowerment is education and employment, as it would increase social mobility and have an effect on other aspects. An educated girl means an educated mother, an educated family and intelligent citizen of the country. For women, it’s very important, regardless of their marital status - single, divorced, widowed or married — to take a much more active role in their financial matters.” He expressed his pleasure of the Government of Pakistan’s performance in promoting women empowerment and in realizing reforms in this field.
Speaking at the seminar, chief guest Omar Ayub Khan, Federal Minister for Energy (Power) emphasized the importance of women rights, assessing them as a part of human rights in general. Explaining how Pakistani nation decided to fulfil its human rights by establishing independent state of Pakistan, Minister told that under the wise and patriotic leadership of Ilham Aliyev and Imran Khan, Azerbaijan and Pakistan would progress furhter. He expressed his confidence that Pakistan’s women would play their important role in this process.
Well-known activist, president of Pakistan Azerbaijan Alumni Association Engr. Qaisar Nawab talked about cordial and brotherly relations between the peoples and governments of Azerbaijan and Pakistan, highlighting the significance of contact among the youth of both countries. He also mentioned the youth as the future of the nation and noted the importance of women empowerment.
Addressing the audience, principal of Government Girls’ Degree College Sarai Saleh, Haripur professor Azra Yasmin revealed her acquaintance with Azerbaijani social life and culture, informing how women in Azerbaijan has acquired very high level of rights and have been able to realize their rights in every fields. She also referred to the facts reflecting the increasing role of women in Pakistani society, citing the discipline and high quality of education at the college under her as an obvious example of the Pakistani women’s capability.
Question answer session with students were held, as well as Informative video materials on Azerbaijan-Pakistan bilateral relations, poems on women empowerment, different books, performances of the students of college were presented and displayed at the occasion.