QUETTA - Balochistan Ombudsperson for Protection against Harassment at Workplace, Sabira Islam Advocate has represented Pakistan at the three-day International Conference of Women Ombudsperson held in Madrid, Spain.

At the world conference, Sabira Islam Advocate highlighted the steps taken by the government to address the issues faced by the women in Pakistan in the political, economic and social spheres, besides legal measures put in place to curtail incidents of harassment of women at workplace in the country.

She apprised the participants about the role of women ombudsperson in Pakistan in providing harassment free environment to the women folk.

While talking to media here on Wednesday, she said that women constitute half of the population of Pakistan. “Women play a key role in the economic development of any country or state,” she said, adding, without any gender discrimination provision of the equal opportunities were the only way that guarantees durable women development.

She noted: “Empowering women in developing countries can make a big difference in society as experts have proved, on the basis of innumerable pieces of evidence, that gender differences are undoubtedly a major cause of low economic growth.”

Sabra Islam Advocate further said effective programmes and policies needed to be formulated and implemented to encourage women’s participation in the workforce.

| Provision of equal opportunities only way that guarantees durable women development

“In addition, it is important to ensure the implementation of existing laws.”

She recalled: “In Pakistan, UN agencies are also working to provide support and facilities to women in their respective fields. Equitable investments in education and health sectors can create opportunities for women which will lead to economic growth in Pakistan.”

She said: “Measures are being taken at the government level in Pakistan to provide an environment free of harassment for women and in this regard, along with enacting legislation, women ombudsperson are playing a pivotal role.”

“Anti- harassment offices have been activated in all provinces of Pakistan including at the federal capital. Women Ombudsperson for Protection against Harassment are gradually getting stronger and a large number of affected women resort to these offices on a daily basis with their issues addressed without any delay,” she maintained.

At a three-day conference in Madrid, Spain, women ombudsperson from around the world reaffirmed their commitment to make multilateral global initiatives and coordination more effective in protecting women’s rights and building a society free of harassment.