Punjab Textbook Board introduced a chapter titled "gender equality and protection of women’s rights" in the secondary school curriculum.
PCSW Project Manager Ms Zainab Jafri said this during an awareness session conducted by Punjab Commission on the Status of the Women (PCSW) at a school at Township.
Talking to the students, Ms Zainab Jafri said education was the foundation for civic participation. She said schools were influential in shaping students' views and perceptions. Moreover, environment in schools provides safe spaces where all students can learn, she added.
The objective of the sessions was to guide Christian students and disseminate information included in the new chapter, i.e. gender, gender-based violence, women’s rights and redress mechanisms in Punjab. The session also aimed to sensitise the teachers and students who are affiliated with the Archdiocese of Lahore.
During the session, facilitators Ms Zainab Jafri and Ms Naureen Akhtar stated that awareness and education on gender and human rights were needed to change social and cultural norms. Talking about the current situation in Punjab, Ms Jafri stated that women and girls experience gender bias and discrimination in all spheres in Pakistan. She urged students to advocate for women's rights in their families, schools, places of worship, etc.
She emphasised that it was imperative for all stakeholders to play an active role in promoting gender equality and ridding society of gender-based violence. She said women and girls should be supported in their efforts to empower themselves. In addition, citizens should be made aware of the negative consequences of harmful practices, she added.