By Fazal Khaliq

MINGORA:  Educationists and women rights activists here on Friday demanded of the government to give equal weightage and importance to women colleges and other institutions as given to men colleges and educational institutions.

They were speaking in a ceremony in the Government Post Graduate Girls College, Saidu Sharif Swat to mark the international women’s day. Teachers, women rights activists and students participated in the event.

Speaking at the occasion principal of the college Dr Nargis Ara said that it was high time for the policy makers in the country to devise a proper policy for women in terms of women’s quota in jobs in each and every department.

“Women enjoy equal status in the developed and civilized world in terms of their rights, employment and legislations. Our policy makers must devise policies to specify special seats in education, health and other departments for women so that they can contribute in the development of the country,” she said.

Students of the college also presented skits and dramas highlighting discrimination with girls in the rural areas.

Halima a BS student said that majority of parents wanted male child and did not welcome girl child. “The difference between daughter and son starts since their birth and it goes on till their deaths. Sons are given higher education in better institutes while daughters are deprived of education as parents consider daughters to be an entity someone’s else house,” she said.

Another student Andaleeb Akhtar said that girls of the rural areas faced higher discrimination than those of urban areas. “This is the government responsibility to provide equal educational facilities to women in the rural areas and ensures women rights,” she said.

A Canada-based education consultant Farhana Khan said that women in Swat and other Pakhtun belts only chose fields of health and education for jobs and did not concentrate on others fields. “There are hundreds of fields open for women like journalism, researches, scientists, computer technology and so on,” she said, adding that parents must support their daughters in providing them higher education for the better development of the country.

Students and educationist also spoke on career counseling in a bid to guide students towards suitable and proper profession in future.