National Conference (NC) Monday said that the women’s political participation besides being a human rights was also key to thriving democracy and that NC had traditionally and frontally worked to end gender bias.
A statement of NC issued here quoted NC’s State Secretary and former minister Sakina Itoo as saying in her message on the international women’s day that the cornerstone of the development programme of the party was to empower the women of J&K economically, politically and socially.
She said that it was Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah who brought women of Jammu and Kashmir into the political discourse.
“It was NC that took upon itself to change the fate of the women of J&K under its revolutionary Naya Kashmir manifesto. In the later decades also, whenever NC was in power, it left no stone unturned to transform its vision of empowering women into reality. It was Akbar Jehan Abdullah, who used education as a fundamental tool to bring about change in the attitude of the women on the line of the vision enshrined in the Naya Kashmir document,” Itoo said.
She said that the contemporary women of Jammu and Kashmir were suffering from more predictable issues as a result of conflict, household violence, dowry, destitution, poverty and unemployment.
“There has been no headway towards bolstering the socio, economic and political prospects of women since 2015. The successive governments since 2015 claimed much as an act of tokenism but on the ground nothing was done to mitigate the suffering of the women,” Itoo said.
The statement said that the NC’s Provincial President (Women’s Wing) SabiyaQadri addressed a meeting of the party’s women’s functionaries here at the party’s Nawa-e-Subha headquarters in connection with the International Women’s Day.
Addressing the women functionaries, she said that the party was working on improving women’s involvement in politics.
Qadri said the ratio of women in the democratic spaces was significantly lower than that of their male counterparts.
She said some of the main challenges identified were lack of support from family and lack of equity as well.
Qadri said that the party’s women wing was leaving no stone unturned to increase the participation of women in politics.
In a separate message, NC’s additional spokeswoman Sarah Hayat Shah said, “Taking into consideration the contribution being made to each and every sphere of life in the country, it can be certainly contended that women are no less indispensable to society than men. Women officers, entrepreneurs have accomplished rare feats with their sheer hard work.”