On 8th, Dec, 2016 SPARC in collaboration with Capital University of Science and Technology conducted a seminar on Gender Mainstreaming in Open and Distance Learning.
The seminar was held to celebrate 16 days of activism, and to raise awareness among the youth regarding different implications for gender equality, and gender based violence for planned policy action, including legislation, and educational programmes, as well as to promote active participation of women and girls in open and distant learning. Another major point of discussion during the seminar was early and forced child marriages, and its implications, especially for the girl child.
Lisa Moreau, (First Secretary, (Development), Canadian High Commission) was the Chief Guest of the event, while other Guests of Honor included; Dr Farhat Sheikh (Gender Advisor, Canadian International Development Agency), Prof. Dr. Mohammad Mansoor Ahmed (Vice Chancellor Capital University of Science and Technology), and Dr. Haroona Jatoi (Professor Gender Education).
Sadia Hussain (Executive Director of SPARC) started the seminar with an opening note and elaborated upon the need for gender equality in open and distant learning to promote women empowerment, and to counter socio-economic inequality plaguing girls and women in Pakistan.
Prof. Dr. Haroona Jatoi presented a situation analysis on early and forced child marriages and its implications on girls. Frances Ferreira, (Senior Advisor Gender, Commonwealth of Learning), contributed to the discussion via video message in which she talked about the need for gender equality as an integral element for policies, plans, and programmes.
Dr. Abdul Baseer Qazi, Assistant Professor, CUST, applauded the efforts of SPARC for promoting gender equality, and women empowerment through their various projects, as well as the special role that SPARC has been playing for the promotion of child rights over the past many years.
The Vice Chancellor of Capital University, Prof. Dr. Mohammad Mansoor ended the seminar with concluding remarks and a vote of thanks to all participants the Chief Guest and other Guests of Honor.