ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: A USAID-funded project under Gender Equity Program (GEP) of Aurat Foundation was launched on Wednesday at Allama Iqbal Open University to strengthen gender and women’s studies for community development.
Under this project AIOU will provide research opportunities to students from seven different regions. Orientation workshops will be conducted over fifteen months, aimed at strengthening the university’s Gender and Women’s Studies Department to conduct research-based study.
In these workshops, students and faculty will be sensitized on gender and pro-women legislation, said a press release.
Speaking at the launching ceremony, Vice Chancellor Prof. Dr. Shahid Siddiqui termed the project as highly important in capacity-building of the faculty and non-faculty staff on gender.
He added the university would soon introduce M.Phil-level degree on gender and women studies in order to sensitize the community on a wider-level about gender’s role in the country’s overall socio-economic development.
Dr Shahid also committed that AIOU would fulfill its responsibility to conduct research on women’s issues and disseminate its findings to policy-makers and other relevant quarters.
The female section of the society has proved over the years that they the ability to surpass the males in achieving excellence in various fields.
The society particularly the media and the educational institutions are required to determine their role and highlight their importance in reformation of society and nation-building, he added.
The launching ceremony was also addressed by the representatives of Aurat Foundation Naeema Mirza and Ms. Mahpara Shakil Ghouri who gave an overview of the organization’s role and achievements in enhancing the respect and living conditions of women.
They also spoke about their efforts to combat gender-based violence and promote women workers’ welfare.
Earlier, Dr. Riffat Haque, Chairman Department of Gender Studies highlighted main features of the project, and said they will soon offer need-based courses of to expand the academic network on gender studies.