Male attitude towards women rights changing: Oxfam
By Jonaid Iqbal
ISLAMABAD: Oxfam chief executive has said Pakistan is on the verge of change as regards to women rights and there has been improvement in the attitude of males towards them.
“Things are moving forward although the pace might be slow,” she said. Dame Barbara Stocking, the chief executive of Oxfam, Great Britain, was speaking at a press briefing held at South Asia Free Media Association on Saturday night. Oxfam country director Neva Humaira Khan and programme managers Dr Naureen and Fatima Naqvi were also present. Eminent broadcaster Agha Nasir moderated the news conference.
However, Ms Stocking said Pakistan needed to do more for women rights since its record, particularly in female mortality rate, was down below. She stressed awareness of more information on women rights among men as well as women through the media with stronger support from civil society because: “Women are the poorest section of the world’s population and rights of the poor women need increased.”
Ms Stocking visited Hyderabad and rural areas of Sindh and reported happiness at the provincial government’s project that had already distributed land among 2,000 hari women. Even males have stood up to back the hari women’s claim – the change has come about in some very tough men so the male attitude towards women is opening even though slowly.
She said the real issue was to change the mindset of the male population to realise that women also had rights. “But first women should know what their rights are and the media should play a role in carrying this message across to the people.”
It was announced at the news conference that Oxfam would begin dispatching clean drinking water to the flood affected areas, especially in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Ms Stocking said Oxfam worked in 64 countries, including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka to broaden development and humanitarian programme. Its aim is to reduce poverty and violence towards vulnerable women (and also males) besides helping people regarding climate change which is affecting agriculture. Oxfam has been working in Pakistan since 1973.