Islamabad: Norwegian Charge d’ affaires Mr. Terje Barstad called on Goodwill Ambassador for Women Empowerment, Fiza Batool Gilani, in Islamabad today. This meeting was a follow-up of the Goodwill Ambassador’s bilateral meeting with Ms. Ingrid Fiskaa, Deputy Minister for International Development on the side-lines of the 56th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women in New York in December.
Fiza Batool Gilani informed in detail about the pro-women legislation passed by the current parliament to make them empowered in social, economic and political spheres of life. “Democracy means empowerment and empowerment of women is its cardinal component”, she said.
“PPP has an agenda of women empowerment as without bringing half of the population into the national mainstream, progress is simply impossible”, the Goodwill Ambassador said.
The Goodwill Ambassador pointed out the issue of forced marriages and apprised her interlocutor that the recently passed “anti-Women Practices Act” will help Pakistani women in overcoming this.
Fiza Batool Gilani told Mr. Terje Barstad that women’s representation in parliament and provincial assemblies is satisfactory. However, she put special emphasis on the significance of enhancing women’s representation at the local levels, where they are not represented in adequate numbers.
Mr. Terje Barstad apprised the Goodwill Ambassador about the various projects in the fields of education, skill development and capacity-building which the Norwegian government is supporting. Fiza Batool Gilani especially appreciated the training program for women counsellors, which had benefitted over 280000 women in Pakistan.
Both the interlocutors agreed on the importance of ministerial level exchange program so that good pro-women measures in each society can be replicated in the other.
Mr. Terje Barstad said that Pakistanis living in Norway are hard-working and honest people in whom Pakistan has found the best ambassadors abroad.
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