03/08/2018, 09.51
PAKISTAN
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Lahore, Christian and Muslim women: Rights and work equal to men (Video)

by Kamran Chaudhry

An inter-religious meeting in the Dominican center. The theme of this year's International Women's Day is "#PressforProgress". Rights demanded by women: driving, running for elections, inheriting property, support from the family, education.

Lahore (AsiaNews) - Being free to work and have better opportunities. This is what Christians and Muslim women of Pakistan are asking for, gathered yesterday on the eve of the Women's Day. The interreligious meeting took place at the Lahore Dominican Peace Center. Among the participants, Anila Doger, member of the Women League Minhaj-ul-Quran Organization. "We launch an appeal - she said - to all male members of the family, so that they allow us to leave home and give us a chance".

The theme of this year's International Women's Day is "#PressforProgress". There were more than 100 people at the Dominican center, including nuns, religious and women’s leaders. Anila explains that in the Asian country "the girls become women remaining seated inside the house waiting for their dowry. Episodes of domestic violence are still rampant. We are in the 21st century, but we are witnessing the law of the jungle ".

The event was organized by the United Religions Initiative (Uri) Pakistan. The organization gathers 54 associations with the aim of promoting inter-religious peace and harmony. It carries out seminars on women's emancipation, the elimination of violence against them and hygiene courses. For the past 11 years, it has offered tailoring courses for women living in rural areas and training in leadership and communications since last year.

All women were given colored garlands. The speakers spoke about the long masculine and patriarchal tradition that characterizes society in the Islamic Republic. They have underlined some fundamental rights, which however in Pakistan are not always recognized to the female population: the right to drive, to run in elections, to inherit property, support from the family, education. They also highlighted the lack of assistance centers, the frequent episodes of ill-treatment they are subjected to while walking on the street or at work.

Fr James Channan, Uri Pakistan regional coordinator, calls for the government to open new vocational centers and for the education of women. "It is very rare - he told AsiaNews - that this day is celebrated. Our women are considered second-class citizens. They are discouraged from looking for work. The government announces new programs dedicated to them, but then the implementation is not very enthusiastic. In the houses, the males eat first while the females are given in marriage after 10th class. Our struggle is against this mentality ".

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