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Women Empowerment in Punjab, Pakistan

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University of Sargodha | Women Empowerment in Punjab, A Case Study | Supervisor: Dr. Mussarat jabeen | | Muhammad Waseem Abbas – 02 , Sumera Imam – 04 , Tufail Niazi- 28 | [Pick the date] |

Department of International Relations and pol-Sciences |

Table of Contents 1. Introduction 3 1.1 Understanding Power 3 1.2 Understanding Empowerment 5 1.3 Empowerment and its meanings 6 1.4 Women’s awareness about their rights 8 2-Punajb and women empowerment 9 2.1 women empowerment in Punjab Pakistan 9 2.2 Economic benefits of women empowerment 11 2.3 Punjab assembly work from 2008-13 11 2.4 women issues and provincial government 13 2.5 DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PUNJAB AND OTHER PROVINCES IN WOMEN EMPOWERMENT 14 2.6 Punjab women empowerment package 16 3-Future of women in Punjab, Suggestions and conclusion 24 3.1 Future of women empowerment in Punjab 24 3.2 suggestions for women empowerment 25 3.3 Conclusion 25 References 27

1. Introduction

1.1 Understanding Power

At the core of the concept of empowerment is the idea of power. The possibility of empowerment depends on two things. First, empowerment requires that power can change. If power cannot change, if it is inherent in positions or people, then empowerment is not possible, nor is empowerment conceivable in any meaningful way. In other words, if power can change, then empowerment is possible. Second, the concept of empowerment depends upon the idea that power can expand. This second point reflects our common experiences of power rather than how we think about power. To clarify these points, we first discuss what we mean by power.

Power is often related to our ability to make others do what we want, regardless of their own wishes or interests (Weber, 1946). Traditional social science emphasizes power as influence and control, often treating power as a commodity or structure divorced from human action (Lips, 1991). Conceived in this way, power can be viewed as unchanging or unchangeable. Weber (1946) gives us a key word beyond this limitation by recognizing that power exists within the context of a relationship between people or things. Power does not exist in isolation nor is it inherent in individuals. By implication, since power is created in relationships, power and power relationships can change. Empowerment as a process of change, then, becomes a meaningful concept.

A brief exercise makes the importance of this discussion clear. Quickly, list three words that immediately come to mind when you hear the word power. For most people, words that come to mind when we think about power often revolve around control and domination. Focusing on these aspects of power limit our ability to understand and define empowerment.

The concept of empowerment also depends upon power that can expand our second stated requirement. Understanding power as zero-sum, as something that you get at my expense, cuts most of us off from power. A zero-sum conception of power means that power will remain in the hands of the powerful unless they give it up. Although this is certainly one way that power can be experienced, it neglects the way power will remain in the hands of the powerful unless they give it up. Although this is certainly one way that power is experienced, it neglects the way power is experienced in most interactions. Another brief exercise highlights the importance of a definition of power that includes expansion. Answer the question; "Have you ever felt powerful?" Was it at someone's expense? Was it with someone else?

Grounded in an understanding that power will be seen and understood differently by people who inhabit various positions in power structures contemporary research on power has opened new perspectives that reflect aspects of power that are not zero-sum, but are shared. Feminist’s members of grassroots organizations social and ethnic groups and even individuals in families bring into focus another aspect of power.

Researchers and practitioners call this aspect of power "relational power" generative power "integrative power," and "power with" .This aspect means that gaining power actually strengthens the power of others rather than diminishing it such as occurs with domination/power. Some has suggested that power defined as "the capacity to implement" is broad enough to allow power to mean domination, authority, influence, and shared power or "power with." It is this definition of power, as a process that occurs in relationships, that gives us the possibility of empowerment.

1.2 Understanding Empowerment

Empowerment is a construct shared by many disciplines and arenas: community development, psychology, education, economics, and studies of social movements and organizations, among others. How empowerment is understood varies among these perspectives. In recent empowerment literature, the meaning of the term empowerment is often assumed rather than explained or defined has noted that it is easy to define empowerment by its absence but difficult to define in action as it takes on different forms in different people and contexts. Even defining the concept is subject to debate. An English writer has stated that asserting a single definition of empowerment may make attempts to achieve it formulaic or prescription-like, contradicting the very concept of empowerment.

A common understanding of empowerment is necessary, however, to allow us to know empowerment when we see it in people with whom we are working, and for program evaluation. According to Bailey, how we precisely define empowerment within our projects and programs will depend upon the specific people and context involved.

As a general definition, however, we suggest that empowerment is a multi-dimensional social process that helps people gain control over their own lives. It is a process that fosters power in people, for use in their own lives, their communities, and in their society, by acting on issues that they define as important.

We suggest that three components of our definition are basic to any understanding of empowerment. Empowerment is multi-dimensional, social, and a process. It is multi-dimensional in that it occurs within sociological, psychological, economic, and other dimensions. Empowerment also occurs at various levels, such as individual, group, and community. Empowerment, by definition, is a social process, since it occurs in relationship to others. Empowerment is a process that is similar to a path or journey, one that develops as we work through it. Other aspects of empowerment may vary according to the specific context and people involved, but these remain constant. In addition, one important implication of this definition of empowerment is that the individual and community are fundamentally connected.

1.3 Empowerment and its meanings

The term empowerment covers a vast landscape of meanings, interpretations, definitions and disciplines ranging from psychology and philosophy to the highly commercialized self-help industry and motivational sciences.

Sociological empowerment often addresses members of groups that social discrimination processes have excluded from decision-making processes through - for example - discrimination based on disability, race, ethnicity, religion, or gender. Empowerment as a methodology is often associated with feminism.

Marginalized, refers to the overt or covert trends within societies whereby those perceived as lacking desirable traits or deviating from the group norms tend to be excluded by wider society and ostracized as undesirables.

Sometimes groups are marginalized by society at large, but governments are often unwitting or enthusiastic participants. This Act made it illegal to restrict access to schools and public places based on race. Equal opportunities laws which actively oppose such marginalization, allow increased empowerment to occur.

Relegated people who lack self-sufficiency become, at a minimum, dependent on charity, or welfare. They lose their self-confidence because they cannot be fully self-supporting. The opportunities denied them also deprive them of the pride of accomplishment which others, who have those opportunities, can develop for themselves. This in turn can lead to psychological, social and even mental health problems.

Empowerment is then the process of obtaining these basic opportunities for relegated people, either directly by those people, or through the help of non-marginalized others who share their own access to these opportunities. It also includes actively thwarting attempts to deny those opportunities. Empowerment also includes encouraging, and developing the skills for self-sufficiency with a focus on eliminating the future need for charity or welfare in the individuals of the group. This process can be difficult to start and to implement effectively.

One empowerment strategy is to assist relegated people to create their own nonprofit organization. Using the rationale that only the marginalized people themselves can know what their own people need most and that control of the organization by outsiders can actually help to further entrench marginalization. Some organizations lead from outside of the community. A nonprofit organization can target strategies that cause structural changes, reducing the need for ongoing dependence. red cross, for example, can focus on improving the health of indigenous people, but does not have authority in its charter to install water-delivery and purification systems, even though the lack of such a system profoundly, directly and negatively impacts health. A nonprofit composed of the indigenous people, however, could ensure their own organization does have such authority and could set their own agendas, make their own plans, seek the needed resources, do as much of the work as they can, and take responsibility - and credit - for the success of their projects.

1.4 Women’s awareness about their rights

Women’s awareness about their rights and practices of these rights is considered to have positive influence on women’s empowerment. Literature regarding this variable is presented in the following paragraphs. In order to minimize gender gap or gender inequality and to promote empowerment, it is essential for women to recognize root causes of their problems as well as inherent structural and institutional discrimination. There is also a need of restructuring of women’s role that restricts their own growth. These views are also consistent with the feminists. All such changes are not possible without promotion of awareness rising campaigns. Successful application of women’s reproductive and social rights were associated with economic independence and Bargaining power of women who stressed on political mobilization, consciousness rising and education for attaining women’s empowerment. The author further suggested change in laws, civil codes and system of property rights, social and legal institutions in order to achieve gender equality.
What changes should be made? How much such changes are important? The answer to such questions can only be obtained by developing awareness among women. In other words awareness about rights is vital for developing a rational for desirable structural change in order to empower women. It is not easy for a single woman to bring considerable change in her life. Economic strength of women does not necessarily bring women empowerment rather empowerment process can be understood by considering the ideology that legitimize male domination and by exploring the facts. Some blamed women for their own oppression. Therefore, she recommended external intervention for their empowerment and linked women’s empowerment with their access to new ideas and information. It is concluded that that positive change can be brought in women’s consciousness by new set of ideas and information. Therefore awareness about such ideas and information is essential for consciousness rising which leads them towards empowerment.

2-Punajb and women empowerment

In mid-2011, following the guidelines established under the 18th Constitutional Amendment, the federal government devolved its women’s development authorities to the provinces.

2.1 women empowerment in Punjab Pakistan

Punjab government takes practical initiatives to improve the life standards of Punjab women. Shahbaz Sharif said that the government had decided to withdraw the condition that the heirs submit applications for the transfer and division of land in rural areas. Revenue officers would now have to initiate the process for the transfer of land at the death of its owner without waiting for the application. The purpose of this decision was to put an end to the unsavory practice of usurping the legal rights of female owners in the division of land. The heirs would also have to produce the ‘B’ form in order to check forgery.

He said that provincial government would set up special committees that meet once a month to curb irregularities in the division of land. The committee could recommend legal action against officials involved in irregularities.

The chief minister said that under the new law, immediately after receiving an application for the division of property in urban areas the court would issue a notice to the respondent, who would be bound to settle the issue with the petitioner within 60 days.

Stamp papers duty on the division of property would also be withdrawn in order to simplify the process.

Sharif said that the government would provide three- and five-marla plots to landless persons in the Jinnah Abadi Schemes. The property rights to these plots would be awarded jointly to husband and wife. Now, all lands given by the government will be the joint property of husband and wife and they will have an equal share.

He announced a 33% quota for women in all government institutions, committees and taskforces, and 25 % in the Punjab Public Service Commission. He said that daycare centers would be urgently established in all educational and government institutions so that married women could leave their children somewhere safely while they work.

Sharif said that an Rs2 billion fund was being set up through the Bank of Punjab from which women would be offered soft loans for setting up businesses. He announced the appointment of Iram Qureshi as the secretary for Women’s Development and pledged to appoint a women’s ombudsman.

The chief minister noted that girls generally performed better academically than boys saying that 60 5 of the laptops the government recently distributed had gone to girl students. He urged women who had received higher education’s not to give up their jobs after marriage and continue to serve the country.

MNA Anusha Rehman elaborated on some of the measures in the chief minister’s “women empowerment package”. she was part of the committee that came up with the package.

Anusha said that the reforms sought to secure women’s inheritance rights by mandating severe punishments for people who deprive women of their lawful rights. She said that all boards and committees set up by the government would have 33 % women’s representation’
The women empowerment package also ensures the provision of public toilets and prayer areas for women and development of women’s colleges in other districts.

2.2 Economic benefits of women empowerment

Most women across the globe based on the informal work sector for an income. If women were empowered to do more and be more the possibility for economic growth becomes apparent. Eliminating a significant part of a nation’s work force on the sole basis of gender can have detrimental effects on the economy of that nation. In addition, female participation in counsels, groups, and businesses is seen to increase efficiency. For a general idea on how an empowered women can impact a situation monetarily. A study found that “those with more women board directors had significantly higher financial returns, including 53 percent higher returns on equity, 24 percent higher returns on sales and 67 percent higher returns on invested capital. The studies shows the impact women can have on the overall economic benefits of a company. If implemented on a global scale the inclusion of women in the formal workforce can increase the economic output of a nation.

2.3 Punjab assembly work from 2008-13

The Punjab Assembly witnessed some very important bills. And especially in the sector of women empowerment Punjab assembly work is admirable than previous ones. The women empowerment package is the prominent figure of Punjab assembly work During its constitutional term.

The 154 bills introduced 133 were passed by the assembly in a total of 45 sessions. The famous Punjab Local Government Amendment Bill sailed through the assembly several times, got tweaked by five amendments, finally stalling local body elections. Secondly, the Punjab Katchi Abadis Amendment Act 2012 provided land ownership rights to several hundred of people across the province. Third, the assembly also passed several bills pertaining to the formation of women’s universities. Some amendments over house rules were also made. The assembly met for a total of 302 days.

The resolutions about the formation of a South Punjab province and the restoration of the Bahawalpur province were passed unanimously during the final months of the assembly’s tenure.

Following the passage of the 18th Amendment Bill in 2010, which asked for the devolution of 18 government departments to the provincial level, the Punjab Assembly administered to comprehensive lawmaking, ensuring provincial regulation of these portfolios, instead of resorting to mere notification. The 133 bills passed by the assembly were termed by Punjab Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Rana Sanaullah.

Sessions in the tenure were marked with characteristic acerbity between the ‘loyal’ and lawmakers. Bitterness pervaded ties between women legislators of the Pakistan Muslim League–(Q) and between leaders like Sheikh Allauddin and Mian Atta Maneka. The former group of legislators was also known to give the tough time to the treasury benches during assembly sessions. Furthermore, peals of laughter followed the regular face offs between leader of the opposition Raja Riaz and Punjab Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Rana Sanaullah .

From the 154 bills introduced in the assembly, 11 are pending in standing committees, 10 are withdrawn, while a total of 133 bills were passed. Furthermore, in five years, a total of 12,798 notices received. 10,965 are admitted, while 1,713 are disallowed.

Sometime earlier the Punjab cabinet gave its approval for the Right to Information Bill, but, unfortunately, it was not introduced in the assembly for its passage.

2.4 women issues and provincial government

“Women who are facing discrimination are now confused as to which office to contact for resolution of their issues as two offices with the same agenda are working in one department an official from the department said, requesting anonymity.

Two offices within the department, maintained by the provincial government at an annual cost of Rs260 million, are fighting over administrative control of the Gender Reform Action Plan (GRAP). In the current fiscal year Rs100 million was provided to run the GRAP. The GRAP was launched by the government of Pakistan in August 2002 with technical assistance from the Asian Development Bank. The federal government too provided Rs610 million for execution of specific tasks.

The provincial government established a programmed management unit at GRAP as a policy chamber to ensure that all public sector operations in the province promote gender equity and reduce gender inequality. This unit was established in the Social Welfare Women Development and Baitul Maal Department.

After the unit was established some officials began lobbying for a parallel directorate to exercise administrative control over the GRAP.

Meanwhile the department established a new office where Sajjad Haider was posted as the director for women development and two others were appointed. In essence, the office had the same responsibilities as that of the DG as far as GRAP was concerned.

Meanwhile, the provincial government refused to adopt the Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Women Crisis Centers, set up the now-devolved Ministry of Women Development, to provide legal help to women in distress.

The government has written to prime minister’s office that it cannot share the financial liabilities of these centers. The letter also implied that the crisis centers would be unnecessary as shelter homes were already working in Punjab, with the same aims and objectives.

The Punjab government has also requested the Inter-Provincial Coordination Ministry to withdraw the notification issued by the Women Development Ministry which says that this project will be devolved to the provincial government following the 18th Amendment.

In 2009, 26 centers were established by the federal government under the women development ministry out of which 12 are operating in Punjab. The cities where these centers are located are Lahore, Sahiwal, Muzaffargarh, Multan, Vehari, Bahawalpur, DG Khan, Mianwali, Khushab, Faisalabad, Sialkot and Rawalpindi. The move was opposed by the Punjab government at that time as well, on the grounds that shelter homes were already functioning in the province.


Immediately, many of our social elites shrilly proclaimed that our society would experience a serious step backwards on women-related issues. However, others argued that there was hope for greater consistency in public policy since all major law enforcement agencies and social services had also been devolved. In addition devolution held out the possibility of positive competition among the provinces.
It appears now that the initial optimism may have been justified.

Within weeks, Sindh and Baluchistan transformed their existing women development departments into fully-fledged ministries and KPK established a women’s commission. However, there was no immediate action in Punjab. Although the other provinces have not yet delivered any major concrete reforms or legislative initiatives, suddenly the PMLN government in Punjab has taken the lead.

On International Women’s Day, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif announced a comprehensive package of well thought-out and concrete measures specifically designed for the development and empowerment of women. These measures can be divided into three clusters.

The first thing involves institutional arrangements that the provincial government will make to strengthen the provincial machinery. The package announced that the existing Women Development Department will be transformed into an independent provincial ministry and a provincial special person will be established under the anti-sexual harassment legislation passed at the federal level in 2010.

Several special desks will be established at the district level to monitor the investigation of crimes against women. The quota of women in provincial public service will be increased from 5% to 15%, but, more significantly a 25% quota will be established for women representation on major decision-making bodies such as the provincial public service commission. These reforms will initiate a change in the ability of the provincial bureaucracy to address women’s rights issues.

The second thing involves a set of new or amended legislation. This includes a specific amendment in the property inheritance procedures to ensure individual qualified relatives of the deceased are granted their inheritance directly from the courts rather than collectively. An amendment has been proposed in the Poison Act to regulate acid as a poison , making it potentially less accessible for use in acid crimes.

The government is also considering the passage of an omnibus legislative package that will cover several crimes against women rather than struggling to pass a law for each crime separately. The intention has been announced but the details of this legislation are not yet known.

The third factor can be characterized as more of an acknowledgement of the gap between women and men in social and economic development by ensuring the inclusion of women in future initiatives. A whole array of actions has been mentioned ranging from separate toilets for women in workplaces transportation to education facilities and establishment of degree colleges in every tehsil and hostels for women students attending district-level degree colleges and interest-free loans for women entrepreneurs.

The announcement of this reform package is a potential political game changer.
The PML-N has not previously been known as a leader on women’s rights. Other parties have more clearly articulated women’s rights in their manifestos but their actions at the provincial level will now be compared with those of the PML-N as elements of their package are approved and implemented. We can only hope that Punjab’s move will put pressure on the lead parties in other provinces to pay more tangible attention to their women constituents

2.6 Punjab women empowerment package

PMLN Punjab Government & Women Empowerment Package

Empowerment of women and expression of resolve to safeguard their rights have always been used as a slogan to win over the support of women folk by various regimes political parties as well as women rights organization. But fact of the matter is that provision of equal rights and opportunities is still a dream for women in our society especially in the backward and rural areas.

Although there have been necessary legislations as well as some modest steps in the right direction persecution of women in one form or the other is still a norm of the day. Women are deprived of their due rights either in the name of social customs family honor, cultural traditions or wrongful interpretation of religious teachings etc. Protecting the rights of women redressing their social and legal grievances and expanding opportunities available to them has been at the heart of the Government of the Punjab’s commitment to the people, under the leadership of Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif. Throughout its tenure the Government has responded to the call of aggrieved women against social injustices. In the course of exercising its executive functions the Government has become acutely aware of inherent imbalances in our legal social and economic structures that discriminate against women.

On the International Women’s Day on 8th March, 2012 the Government has announced a comprehensive package of measures “Punjab Women Empowerment Package 2012” that corroborates the government’s firm commitment to addressing the social and economic rights of women who make up half of the population of Punjab. The recommended Package has two aspects: first, it will provide ways and means to effectively safeguard women’s rights and second, it is expected to have far reaching effects on their socio-economic status by expanding opportunities available to them.

1- A workable, publicly accountable system shall be put in place that ensures that these measures are implemented not just in letter but in their true spirit. The salient features of the Women Empowerment Package, 2012:

2- It has been observed that rights of the female heirs are not properly safeguarded due to existing lacunas in the laws and rules governing land administration. Hence, after Inheritance Mutation, partition of the properly is being made mandatory through amendment in the law for protecting rights of women.

3- Upon the death of a land owner, proceeding for inheritance mutation shall proactively be initiated by the Revenue Officer forthwith, without moving application by any of the parties, and shall sanction the mutation as soon as possible.

4- Reference to CNIC and B form will be mandatory while sanctioning inheritance mutation so as to ensure that no legal heir is deprived of his/her Fundamental Right to Property.

5- Upon sanctioning of inheritance mutation and without application from any of the parties, the Revenue Officer shall forthwith commerce proceedings for partition of land.

6- In order to ensure that there is appropriate operation against those delinquent officers who due to collusion, non-exercise of due diligence or mala fide intention deprive a legal heir of his/her right or award less share or less valuable land in the mutation/partition.

7- Comprehensive legislation will be enacted to provide assistance to the female victims of violence covering all kinds of gender based violence including domestic violence.

8- The following measures are being taken forthwith for the effective implementation of the law:

9- The Government appoints an Ombudsperson under Protection against Harassment of Women at the Workplace.

10- ’Code of Conduct for Protection against Harassment of Women at the Workplace’ shall be implemented in all public offices.

11- A Provincial Committee is established to oversee implementation of the Act.

12- An amendment will be made in the Poisons Act, 1919 to discourage acid throwing incidents on women.

13- Acid throwing shall be dealt with under the anti-terrorism laws.

14- A Provincial Board for Acid Burns Survivors and a Fund shall be established to recommend specialized medical and psychological care and its monitoring.

15- Government of the Punjab has formulated a policy for the Home based Workers covering the strategies, plans and programs for the protection and promotion of rights and benefit of Home Based Workers who mostly comprise of female workers.

16- Women Crises & Rehabilitation help desks at district level providing legal, psychological and basic health referral services shall be provided under the supervision of the DCO and legislated accordingly.

17- A 24/7 toll free help line shall be established.

18- The Punjab Government is giving proprietary rights under following schemes:

19- Jinnah Abaci Scheme in rural areas of Punjab (approx. 90,000 households)

20- Residents of Catchy Abides (approx. 110,000 households)

21- Regularization of residential occupants of state land in village abides (approx. 700,000 households)

22- In all the above mentioned schemes, joint title is being given to husband and wife (50% share each).

23- Amendments shall be enacted to relevant laws to enforce the right to equal remuneration/wages to men and women for work of equal value.

24- A Media Campaign shall be launched for raising awareness of women on legal issues and rights.

25- The following steps are being taken to encourage the role of women in public sector employment:

26- Quota for women in public service employment including posts recruited through PPSC shall be enhanced to 15%.

27- Women will fill 25% of general seats as Members of the Punjab Public Service Commission.

28- All Boards of statutory organizations, public sector companies and committees as well as special purpose task force and committees shall have at least 33% female representation.

29- There shall be at least one woman in all selection and recruitment committees for regular and contractual employment.

30- Government shall take affirmative action to radically increase women representation in all administrative leadership positions (including departmental heads and key field offices).

31- 33% of consultants in Provincial Ombudsman Office shall be women.

32- All women contractual employees shall be entitled to avail an additional chance of transfer to place of residence of spouse in case of marriage.

33- House rent of only one spouse will be deducted if government accommodation is allocated and both are government servants.

34- The following changes shall be made in rules:

35- Application of maternity leave shall deem to be approved as soon as maternity leave application is moved to the immediate superior

36- Women will not be required to provide fitness certificate on joining after availing maternity leave.

37- Maternity leave shall not be less than 90 days. Condition to avail 45 days before and 45 days after will be abolished.

38- One week paternity leave will be admissible for male employees for two children.

39- Age relaxation up to 3 years shall be allowed to females for fresh induction over and above normal upper age ceiling including existing general relaxation, for the purpose of encouraging employment in the public sector and to enable women to join professional career after marriage & childbearing.

40- The Chief Ministers Day Care Initiative is being announced with the following elements:

41- A Punjab Day Care Fund is being established to support working women to make workplaces women friendly on a co-finance basis.

42- An initial grant of Rs. 100 million is being provided to the Fund for disbursement through an open proposal mechanism for NPOs, NGOs/CBO and public organizations. The Fund will comprise of independent trustees with Women Development Department working as its Secretariat.

43- The Punjab Civil Secretariat will set up a Flagship Day Care Center.

44- Day Care Centers will be mandatory in all public sector offices (including universities, colleges, hospitals and other organizations) with 5 or more than 5 female employees.

45- Amendment in appropriate laws will be enacted to make it mandatory for all commercial/industrial establishments to have a Day Care on their premises.

46- Daycare shall also be an eligible category for financing out of the Workers’ Welfare Fund.

47- Guidelines and standards will be developed and communicated by the Women Development Department.

48- Punjab Skills Development Fund, as per its mandate, shall finance training for developing skilled workforce for the Day Care Centers.

49- The Bank of Punjab announces a “Women Entrepreneurship Financing Scheme” for loans for commercial ventures by women for initiatives including: Day Care Centers, bakeries, eateries, catering, furniture, interior designing, boutiques, fitness gyms, event management, vocational institutes, driving schools, jewelry, clothing and accessories, and any other feasible projects, some as under;

50- Rs. 2 billion has been allocated to this scheme.

51- Business Development Services will be extended by Bop. A panel of experts will be engaged for initial advice followed by feasibility study & business plan preparation

52- Job creation shall be one of the criteria for approval of loan application by the Bank of Punjab.

53- Green field projects shall also be eligible.

54- Government of Punjab will allocate additional Rs. One billion for the year 2012-2013 for disbursement of loans through Akhuwat with a target to support at least 33% women of its total beneficiaries.

55- Career Development Centers will be established in all Public Sector Women Universities. Counseling facilities shall be set up in post-graduate college.

56- Amenities for women shall be provided in all public office: separate washroom and prayer room be designated in existing buildings.

57- All new buildings should incorporate proper facilities for women including washroom and prayer room

This was an initiative taken by the Punjab government in its last working tenure. this act is remarkable in history of Punjab assembly. Women rights are secured more than past. yet there is lot of work to do but the initiative is taken and now it is expected that current government will provide more in women empowerment.


3-Future of women in Punjab, Suggestions and conclusion

3.1 Future of women empowerment in Punjab

Future of women in Punjab is looking better than past, the situation and the scenario is changing due to many things. The position of Punjab in women empowerment is better than other provinces. Especially Punjab government work since 2008 improves the women slandered of life.

Politics is the key factor of empowerment in any society, politics of Pakistan changed after 2000. When Musharraf government came in power they reserved special seats for women. That’s the point when women of Pakistan and also Punjab which is biggest province of the country got more seats. the women political power improves after this and they got practical participation in politics of the country. Now they have more advantages and power to do work for their empowerment. we have now more women in politics other than reserved seats.

The education sector is another key point of empowerment the world is improving in education sector but we are so for from international world and we have more work to do in future specially in this sector. Punjab government takes many steps to improve the education especially for girls because the education is the key point of progress for any country and the country like Pakistan which have more than 50% of its population based on females needs more improvement in its education sector.

the youth festival arranged by Punjab government last year was another step at government level to put forward the females at provincial level and then at national level.
Media is another factor in progress of country when private TV channels start their work in Pakistan after that the situation is changed. Media is playing its role very efficiently in progress of women. Media always points out the problems and hurdles which are in way of women empowerment in the country. Punjab government gave a special package for women and that is the practical form of women empowerment in Punjab.

In future we will see massive changes in women empowerment in Punjab because now women knows that how they can archive their goals and rights.

Women have also knowledge about their rights. Even the women in villages are now having awareness about their rights before media they have no knowledge about their special rights . We have several examples from villages of Punjab that women stand for their rights and they succeeded to archive their rights. These all things are because of media and better education and as this institution are improving we will see more empowerment for women in our society.

3.2 suggestions for women empowerment

1- Women should take steps by themselves 2- Equal opportunities should be provided to women 3- Civil society should ply it’s role for women empowerment 4- Women should participate in politics of country. so they can make laws for their empowerment. 5- After the 18th amendment now provinces have more power of legislation. now it is their responsibility to make laws for women empowerment.

3.3 Conclusion In the past women were treated like a slave and restricted to work in the domestic environment. Women were not allowed to participate in the external activities, but in recent years women are working side by side with men. Especially in the Punjab women of today have more rights more opportunities and healthy environment to play an active role not only for her but also for the nation building.
It is universal thinking that a nation could not make progress until the participation of women allowed to work along with men in the practical field. The women of today are working in several fields; the women of today prove that they can participate in the national building. In Punjab CM Shahbaz sharif take an initiative arrange a festival, Youth festival in which the massive level of girls participate in various game. This youth festival was a landmark for the women to play games. CM Punjab introduces also a women empowerment package, in which women protection, especial quota in government jobs etc.

we are for behind from international empowerment slandered of women but this is not end , still women of Punjab facing challenges, and many things required to protect women from the brutal charges from the society. Women of Punjab more strengthen, active, hard worker and educated as were in the past , but several challenges coming ahead for women.

As the situation is changing Inshalla the days are not so far when women of Punjab will got full empowerment.


1-Ahmad, F. and M. Sultan. 2004. Women’s empowerment and mobility in Pakistan: Result from a National Survey. Paper presented at Fifth Annual Research Conference 14-16 December 200, Karachi, Pakistan.
2- Sayeed, Asad and Saba Khattak (2001). Women's, Work and Empowerment Issues in an Era of Economic Liberalization: A Case Study of Pakistan's Urban Manufacturing Sector
3-express tribune (
4-Sathar, Zeba Ayesha and Shahnaz Kazi, 1997 Female Autonomy in Rural Punjab.
5- Shaheed, Farida and Khawar Mumtaz (1990). Women's Economic Participation in Pakistan.
5- Dawn news paper
6- online articles

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