LAHORE: Provincial Minister for Women Development Hameeda Waheed ud Din has said that government has taken effective measures for the protection of rights of women and curbing gender based violence.

She was addressing a seminar in connection with international campaign for elimination of violence against women arranged by Provincial Department for Women Development at Punjab Institute of Language, Art & Culture, Qaddafi Stadium. Secretary Women Development Department Bushra Aman highlighted the aims and objectives of the campaign and the measures taken by Punjab government for protection and empowerment of women. Hameeda Waheed ud Din said that Punjab government has taken a number of solid steps for empowerment of women and protection of their rights. She said that a huge sum of nine billion rupees has been allocated in the current budget for various projects aimed welfare and uplift of women. She said that no society can progress or prosper without socio-economic empowerment of women. Referring to the steps taken by the government for protection of women, the Minister said that harassment act has been enforced in the province for protection of women at workplace while crisis centers and shelter homes have been set up for women victims of violence. She said that violence against women center is being set up in Multan. She said that two prosecutors preferably women have been appointed as focal person in each district for solution of legal problems of women. Moreover, she said, a help desk has been established at every police station for provision of prompt justice and redressal of grievances of women. Hameeda Waheed ud Din said that appointment of ombudswoman has helped in controlling cases of harassment of women at workplace. She said that an awareness campaign against harassment of women is continuing at district level. She said that cases of acid attacks on women are sent to anti-terrorism courts.

Chairman Taskforce on Women Fiza Farhan, Country Director UN WOMEN Sangeeta Thapa and prominent artist and human rights activist Faryal Gohar said that protection and empowerment of women helps in accelerating the process of national development. They said that a peaceful society can be established by changing negative attitude towards women. The speakers at the seminar appreciated the efforts of Punjab government for protection of rights of women and their empowerment.