The Project launching ceremony of the Training of NIkah Registrars and LG & CDD Officials took place at Town Hall Lahore on 28th November, 2017.
The list of distingueshed speakers ar the ceremony included Hameeda Waheed-ud-Din - Minister for Women Development Punjab, Mubashir Javed - Lord Mayor Lahore, Fauzia Viqar - Chairperson Punjab Commission on the Status of Women, Zahid Islam - Local Government Expert and Shehzad A. Hameed - Director General LG.
Punjab government has a firm belief in gender equality, and is consistently trying to build a society based on non-discrimination and equal treatment of both men and women. This was expressed by the Provincial Minister for Women Development Hameeda Waheed ud Din, while addressing the audience at the Launch of Punjab Commission on the Status of Women's “Training of Nikah Registrars and Local Government Officials” arranged at Town Hall, Lahore.
The Minister stated that a Nikah Nama can potentially empower a woman and ensure equal rights for men and women alike. She stressed that both man and woman should read the Nikah Nama in its entirety and understand the significance of rights given through it, including Haq Mehr, the right to delegated divorce, and maintenance. At the occasion, Chairperson PCSW Fauzia Viqar stated that PCSW will train 47,000 Nikah Registrars, Union Council Secretaries and Chairmen on women’s rights, government initiatives to protect women’s rights, marriage registration, and accurate filling of Nikah Nama. She intimated the audience about the core objective of the Project, which is sensitization of stakeholders to women's rights in a marriage, and how they can be protected through the Nikah Nama. She further stated that the duty of a Nikah Registrar is paramount to protection of a woman's rights, because he can inform all parties of their respective rights within marriage, and ensure that they are included in the contract as per the wishes of the bride and groom. She added that complaints received through PCSW's helpline (#1043) depict the frequent incidence of early age marriages in Punjab, which can be attributed to financial constraints, social pressure and stereotypical values.
Director Local Government Shehzad A Hameed mentioned that PCSW and the Local Government Department are working together to build capacity of officials within the Department. He acknowledged the dire need for capacity building, to ensure better results for women and girls who are forcibly married at a young age. Lord Mayor Lahore Col. (R) Mubashar Javed recognized that the objective of the Project is to empower women through change in mindset of leaders and influential persons at the grassroots. In this respect, he emphasized the significance of women's participation to boost the well-being of society at large.
Project Manager TNR PCSW Shahid Iqbal reiterated the importance of this strategic partnership between departments, due to which 2,371 Nikah Registrars and UC Secretaries and Chairmen were trained in Sheikhupura and Nankana Sahib. He informed the audience of this Initiative's plan for upcoming trainings in Lahore and Kasur districts. Furthermore, he apprised the audience that Nikah Registrars and Local Government Officials from Rawalpindi, Faisalabad, Gujranwala, Sahiwal, Multan, Bahawalpur, DG Khan, and Sargodha Divisions will be trained in the 3rd phase (February to March 2018) of the Project. In conclusion, Chairperson PCSW thanked all Government departments for their efforts in making the project a success, and reducing the incidence of early age marriages in Punjab.