Islamabad—Educating young people on life skills and preventing child marriages can improve education, health and job opportunities and reduce likelihood of exposure to violence or abuse”. This was stated by the Ambassador of Denmark Ole Thonke who was addressing as chief guest the inaugural ceremony of 6th International Conference on Psychology of Gender in Perspective: Issues and Challenges held at Quaid-e-Azam University (QAU) here on Friday.
The conference is organized by Oxfam Pakistan in collaboration with
the National Institute of Psychology, QAU with support from the Government of Denmark. Ole Thonke highlighted that educating the youth on life skills was critical to young people’s ability to make healthy and informed decisions. It also helped prevent school dropout and violence among young people.
Ambassador Thonke made a special emphasis on the challenges of child marriages, which he said posed major health risks for both the mother and the child and was also detrimental to gender equality and women empowerment. He stated that both financial and social vulnerability led many young girls towards isolation and lack of decision-making power in the household which made them more vulnerable to domestic and sexual violence and other kinds of abuse. Ambassador Thonke was of the view that lack of female empowerment was not only unfair, but is also a huge loss of opportunity. “Pakistan is missing out on the talent and productivity of half its population, holding back economic growth and opportunity for society. A brighter future for Pakistan is only possible when the country is able to harness the skills, talent and productivity of all its people – Every woman and man, girl and boy in Pakistan.
For this, everyone has a role to play”, concluded the Ambassador. He was joined by Tariq Fazal Chaudhry, Minister of State for Capital Administration and Development Division; Muhammad Qazilbash, Country Director, Oxfam in Pakistan and Dr. Javed Ashraf, Vice Chancellor, Quaid-i-Azam University at the inaugural ceremony.
Source: Pakistan Observer
Byline: Zubair Qureshi
December 3, 2016