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Department of Education

Report of National Conference on Women Empowerment through Higher Education

Arrival of the Chief Guest:
Chief guest Prof. Dr. Saima Hamid (Vice Chancellor, Fatima Jinnah Women University, Rawalpindi) was received by Prof. Dr. Ayub Khan (Dean, Faculty of Social and Administrative Sciences), Prof. Dr. Abid Farid (Dean, Faculty of Basic and Applied Sciences), Major (R)Muhammad Iqbal (Additional Director of Administration) and female faculty members Dr Saddaf Ayub, Dr.Ambreen Ishfaq ,Ghazala Shaheen(Department of Education) Dr.Sobia Nisa, Dr. Sadia Alam, Dr.Asma Bano (Department of Microbiology) Dr Alyia Naz and Ms.Naureen Aurangzeb (Department of Environmental Sciences).

Inauguration Ceremony of the Conference
            Inaugural session was started with the name of Almighty Allah followed by the national anthem. Dr. Asaf Nawaz Satti (Head ,Department of Education)  briefed the objectives and purpose of conference. Prof. Dr. Anwar-ul-Hassan Gilani Vice Chancellor of The University of Haripur gave welcome address in which he explained importance of women rights and role of women in the development of our society. He really appreciated the efforts of Dr. Saddaf Ayub and her team for organizing the conference in the activity of project (funded by the HEC Thematic Grant).
            He also shared that the Day Care center  for female faculty members, Mosque and common room for female faculty members and students is going to establish as some structural modifications in the building of the campus are in process for facilitation of women in the University of Haripur.

Chief Guest Key Note Address
Prof. Dr. Saima Hamid, Vice Chancellor of Fatima Jinnah Women University, Rawalpindi addressed the audience. She explained importance of women by quoting saying of Muhammad Ali Jinnah that “No struggle can ever succeed without women participating side by side with men”.  
Prof. Dr. Saima Hamid emphasized empowering women and ensuring equal access to ICTs for women and girls, encourage female involvement in Generating sustainable innovation, entrepreneurship and employment opportunities, motivating the participation of Females with Disabilities Reduce barriers to access the Emerging Technologies and female participation in digitization of key socio-economic areas are important. Video was played on departmental activities related to social work (establishing reading corners in different Govt schools and children ward of district head quarter hospital, Haripur for developing reading culture in the society). Practicum work of student was also displayed. Audience took keen interest in clips of departmental video prepared by the students of Education Department. Shield of Chief Guest was presented to Prof. Dr. Saima Hamid by the Vice Chancellor. Shield for Vice Chancellor was presented by Prof. Dr.Saima Hamid in recognition of his effort for organizing the conference on women empowerment.

Panel Discussion on Women Empowerment
Theme for the panel discussion on women empowerment through higher education were already sent to all panelist such as sense of self-worth, right to have and to determine choices, right to have access to opportunities and resources, have power to control their own lives, both within and outside the home and ability to Influence the direction of social change to create a more Just social and economic orders, Nationally and Internationally. Moderator for the panel discussion was Miss Haleema Bano. Dr Shahzadi seema had taken notes of the discussion. Miss Zeerak Iqbal has recoded all discussion with the permission of all panelist for further clarification.
Panelist were requested to introduce themselves by the moderator to the participants of conference. Dr. Samina Malik (Dean Faculty of Social Sciences from International Islamic University Islamabad) Dr. Najia Zulfaiqar (Assistant Professor. Specialisation in Cognition learning child developmental psychology, Human Mechanism across culture, Gender Discrimination, Study Gender Roles) Mrs. Amna Sardar (Ex MPA KP, Working on Empowerment of Women and youth, College Head, First Female Parliamentarian) Miss Sabira Qazi (Foreign Organization Inquiry Officer, Women Counselor in UN for Refugee women and Asylem) Dr. Sobia Nisa (Head of Microbiology, Scientist established science lab, Curricula Pioneer of Research lab)

How confidence of women can be enhanced by higher education?
Panelist No 1: Education is the modification of behavior both for male and female. Higher Education is  privilege who have resources can avail. The Higher institution should act like a hub to create and generate knowledge and inculcate skills and confidence.

Panelist No 2: Education promotes self awareness social and emotional health, positive self concept, but for female work opportunities balance is  necessary. There are various barriers in self confidence. Goal direction may be focused and vision must be clear. Gender bias shattered female confidence attitude towards working women is still facing negative response. Women have multiple responsibilities which affect their growth and confidence.

Panelist No 3: I served on a reserved seat but the elected ones were uneducated. Due to gender discrimination people don’t cooperate. I was involved in legislation and named in the top five assembly legislators so we faced discrimination and which shattered our program. I am the student of gender studies, history. Higher Education make us confident because of knowledge. She narrated the story of having a chair person who even couldn’t sign. So my voice was suppressed by such illiterate parliamentarian. Higher Education makes us civilized, so higher Education of a women can make the generation civilized.

Panelist No 4: As a women activist quote verses of Quran “For men there is what they have worth and for women they have worth and there is no any difference in them.” Islam is the advocate of equity and no gender discrimination and having same rights of education. There is no difference in a Muslim man and Women Prophet S.A.W always encouraged his worthy wives and children to learn. Most of the Sahaba used to come for guidance to Hazarat Ayesha Saddiqa.
Panelist No 5: Higher education may provide equal opportunity to both male and female. Women if get education will have more exposure, it will raise their confidence. This confidence can play an important role in development of personality.

What type of women rights do prevail in the society?

Panelist No 1: Segregated campus for male and female students are supposed to involve all students together. At times it becomes difficult to bring them all together due to initial schooling and family values than it takes much time to change their behavior and to develop confidence. In our culture we have set mindset of keeping suppressed our female students. They are having ideas but the lack of confidence and shyness hinders theirs expression. Until we change such social taboos, we will be unable to facilitate and encourage our women for higher education.

Panelist No 2: Literacy rate has increased in last few years. Women are not get paid equally and it is violation of women rights. Unfortunately a male child is given preference over a female child in the family by parents themselves. Freedom of Choice is granted to boys while girls are not free. Typically stereotype mindset prevails in our society and we unknowingly discriminate so all time we ask girls to be cautious that to keep eyes low, voice low when interacting with male and still female are powerful.

Panelist No 3: Our religion has a defined rules and article 25 there is no discrimination on the basis of sex in their rights. She quoted her own experience that as a parent I ask my daughter and son equally to let me know of your spouse choices and my daughter got surprised. So we have to set examples first to bring change in the society. Lack of implementation is due to the reason that the females are unaware of their rights that is inheritance. Education must promote awareness of these rights among females.

Panelist No 4: Muslim women has been given the open choice to take decisions for herself in life  but we lack its implementation. So priority may be given to practicing it . The book entitled as (Muhammad S.A.W) in that book I read the Fatima R.A as most beloved daughter and Hazarat Khadija R. A as most trusted and beloved wife, so it is important to model our Prophet S.A.W in practicing in real life

Panelist No 5: The educated people though believe and acknowledge but don’t practice and understand it in the light of Islamic law.

How women have the power to control their own lives within their homes for research?

Panelist No 1: Change start from home, being an educated lady my thoughts and ideas are innovative due to higher education I know how to communicate message to parents and brothers so one must communicate her feelings without keeping any fear of refusal.

Panelist No 2: Those professional women who work in their work places while having home responsibilities so, it becomes difficult for them to carry out research alongside their job and home responsibilities. Multiple task is the only specialty of women but personal goals get suffered as female have to cope with research work. There are barriers and challenges in coping with only thing we need that our male counterparts need to understand our workload.

Panelist No 3:  I was not indulge in research work but I was a public servant and got education after my marriage so our male counterpart should support us that’s why we are here because of male support and cooperation.

How women can be motivated to represent herself nationally and internationally?

Panelist No 1: Women themselves need to change their approach so, we can’t blame only men. We all need to encourage our female for higher education to excel. To promote our female and making request to our males to sensitize them to support us and to make awareness to support women can do a lot to family and society. So encouragement and motivation will help to achieve the goal. Mutual trust is necessary among male and female counterparts. They need to develop compatibility with their parents, fathers, brothers and husbands.

Panelist No 2: A women can travel easily but she need self- motivation. Determination in achieving her goals when they are presented as role models we need to break taboos and confidence can be brought through education. Higher Education is supporting economy as we need to promote our females in Higher education. we provide them what they can better do in their comfort zone so they can access nationally and internationally. Females should try to reduce their dependency on males.

Panelist No 3: Girls must have the convincing ability and the logical reasoning flexiblity and be patient in order to make your choices possible for you and not to be stubborn.

Panelist No 4: What we need to do at this moment, we need to create a positive thinking. Family and women  needs to think positively to encourage boys and girls to have constructive thinking. Women can get motivation from our Prophet (S.A.W) and his treatment of women i.e his wives ( Ummahat-ul-Momineen) and his daughters and his followers and from Hazarat Ayesha Siddiqua R.A.

Open Question Answer Session from Audience

Question No 1: There should be systematic approaches to bring changes there are social and cultural constrains and fabricated we need to change to male mind sets to eradicate negative approaches towards women empowerment.
Answer: We have to organize seminars, talk shows, seminars, debates in the universities on the said issue we may sensitize our male for having an equal and fair share in the opportunities for their females. Parenting role is extremely important in this regard.

Comments on question No 1 from the Audience: Women get their education but do not carry out their carrier further. How women can get their empowerment they get aware of their of their rights and at the same time should be aware of their duties?

Question No 2: In our rural areas female are deprived of their rights of inheritance by keeping them uneducated?
Answer: I would like to quote a story when a daughter get informed about that her father is arriving she prepared a lavish meal for the father but when the father entered the home he asked we are not supposed to drink a glass of water from the daughter’s home. Then the daughter replied that you are not drinking a glass of water from my home but you didn’t gave me my share in the inheritance.
Question No 3: How would you define women empowerment as a Pakistani women being a strong reflective? Why women avoid their rights for the sake of freedom my responsibility towards society and societies obligations towards you?
Answer: We have summarized women empowerment they should understand their rights until and unless we understand the religious rights and the citizen’s rights. We should be aware of our rights and duties. You are bound to do certain things then you will be entertained by your right
            After question answer session, moderator of the panel discussion thanked all panelist for taking part in the discussion and contributing their worthwhile views. Shield was presented to Professor Dr.Samina by the Mrs. Amna Sardar (Ex MPA KP, Working on Empowerment of Women and yoth, First Female Parliamentarian).

Presentations for the Conference
Moderator was Mr. Amir Attique (Ph.D Scholar) while session chair were Dr. Ambreen Ishfaq and Dr.Shahzadi Seema. Irshad Ullah presented his research on the topic Teacher Education Role for Sustainability of Women Career in which he analyzed the women importance as teachers and reveal a lot of facts and help determine their influence on education, especially girls’ education.
Amir Attique presented research on Problems of the secondary school Female Physics teachers in discharging practical work in the Districts of Haripur, Abbotabad and Mansehra: Evidence from Pakistan in which he explained the problems faced by the female practitioners at secondary level in executing physics practical work. Dr. Aamna Saleem presented her research on topic Women Empowerment through Quality Educational leadership in which brief that how women can be empowered with educational leadership. The results produced were discussed and recommendations were drawn and suggestions were made that how to enhance the said field. Umber Asad Towards Delineation of Women in Pakistani Media in which she gave idea of social norms lies at the heart of sociology how individual behavior is constrained by (the individual’s view of) the expectations of others.

Closing Ceremony of the Conference
            In closing ceremony, Vote of thanks was given by Prof Dr. Ayub Khan (Dean, Faculty of Social and Administrative Sciences).He appreciated the role of empowering women in the society  and he further added that in future we are going to plan more activities . Shield was presented to Dean by Dr. Muhammad Saeed Khan in recognition of cooperative behavior for organizing conference under his visionary leadership.
Distribution of Shields to the Panelists