PODA 16th Annual Rural Women Conference 2023 Report Launched


Islamabad, Jan: /DNA/ – Reiterating its commitment for the uplift of the rural women, PODA launched the report of the last year’s annual rural women conference today (Tuesday) here in Islamabad. The launching ceremony was attended by a visible number of representatives from the government departments, development sector, lawyers, media, rural women leaders, transgender persons, donor community and youth. The conference was attended by 2285 persons including 1826 women. The 3-Day, 16th Annual Rural Women Conference was held from October 15 to 17, 2023, in Islamabad, marked a significant occasion in the advocacy for rural women’s rights and empowerment.

Speaking on the occasion, CEO and the Founder, PODA, Ms. Sameena Nazir appreciated the efforts of the rural women farmers who being the backbone of the agriculture are still not acknowledged for their contributions. She also appreciated the donor community who showed commitment for the protection and promotion of human rights and specially of rural women farmers who need dire attention of the government for their inclusion in the policies addressing their needs and priorities.

Applauding the efforts of PODA for organizing the conference every year since 2009, Senator Farhatullah Babar termed the conference resolution a timely measure as he was succeeded in accommodating some recommendations in his party’s manifesto.  “PODA conference opened new vistas for me to understand new dimensions of the work done by PODA every year in the form of the conference which provides a rich opportunity to around 2000 rural women who travel across the country and interact with each other on issues following their priorities,” said Farhatullah Babar.

Riffat Inam Butt, Secretary Law and Justice Commission of Pakistan, said that “usually organizations work on an issue for a limited period of time and then those are dropped in the middle of nowhere. However, PODA stands for a social cause like ending child marriages whole heartedly and owns the issue holistically leading towards a pragmatic way forward,” she said.

Sharing her views, Sameena Nazir, said that It has been PODA’s signature event for the past 16 years, an annual celebration dedicated to honoring and commemorating the resilience, struggles, and triumphs of Pakistani women, particularly from rural communities. From highlighting challenges faced by rural women to celebrating their resilience and achievements, the report will serve as a valuable resource for policymakers, NGOs, and individuals committed to promoting gender equality and rural development. The audience also approved the theme for the next conference which would be focused on different dimensions to stop child marriages.

Former Federal Minister, J, Salik also addressed on the occasion and appreciated the efforts of PODA for the protection of the rights of women, minorities and person-with-disabilities. The report launch ended on musical performance of Dr. Nagina Sadaf.