Both genders should become accommodative to improve Global Women Mental Health-Dr.Unaiza Niaz

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Plenary Session presentations

Both genders should become accommodative
to improve Global Women Mental Health-Dr.Unaiza Niaz

Drugs, substance abuse need multidisciplinary approach
to achieve desired results-Iqbal Afridi

LAHORE: Media often presents negative image of women. There is a biased trend against women which is global; hence women must support each other. Both genders should become accommodative, accept women as equal partners and women should be included in Peace and Reconciliation teams. We need some one to support us and every effort should be made to improve global women mental health. This was stated by Dr. Unaiza Niaz an eminent psychiatrists of Pakistan who has all along been promoting the cause of women in the Muslim World. She was making a presentation on “Emerging images of Muslim Women with special focus on Indo-Pakistan Region” at the plenary session during the Asia Pacific Psychosocial Rehabilitation Conference held at Lahore recently. This session was chaired by Prof.lmran Ijaz Haider Head of the Dept. of Psychiatry at Fatima Memorial Medical and Dental College Lahore.
Respect for women, Dr. Unaiza Niaz stated has been acknowledged in Islam which is a complete way of life. Rights of women were accepted in the past but then they had to struggle for a positive role. Their rights were usurped and taken away by the clergy in Muslim countries who is all the time ready to give Fatwa against women. He showed some pictures of Afghan women who used to wear modern western clothes during the regime of King Zahir Shah in 1950s. But when the Taliban era started, the society took away their freedom. Arabs had cruel tribes who also did not give rights to women. Then we saw the positive consequences of women’s movement and it also had its ripple effect in non-Muslim countries. Women status in Muslim world, she stated, will improve.

Prof. Ijaz K.Tareen along with Dr. Naeem and Dr. Unaiza Niaz chairing one
of the sessions during the Asia Pacific Conference on Psychosocial
Rehabilitation held at Lahore recently.

Referring to the Indo-Pakistan sub-continent, Dr. Unaiza Niaz said that who can forget the important role played by Nur Jehan during the Mogul rule. Razia Sultana ruled in the Indo-Pakistan sub-continent for long. Women participated in Wars and Independence movement. They played a vital role in different fields like art, music. Ruler of Bhopal was a woman who was an expert in Martial arts. Women have all along been very active. More recent examples can be of Begum Shaista Ikramullah, Ismat Chughtai and many more but then women’s rights were usurped in the grab of religion. In Pakistan now we see incidents of honour killings, denial of education to women. Even last night at the Fountain House function we did not see any women on the stage. Pakistan, Dr. Unaiza Niaz opined used to be one of the most moderate enlightened country in the Muslim world. But the war in Iraq and Kuwait has also affected us. Even the so called democratic corrupt government did nothing for women. However, it is heartening to note that now literacy rate among women is going up, maternal mortality rate has reduced. We have many women in the Parliament, they are more educated. We have women pilots, army soldiers, health ministers, foreign ministers and ambassadors besides occupying many other important positions in government. Hence in the days to come, image of women in Pakistan will improve further, she remarked.

Prof. Iqbal Afridi

Head of the Dept. of Psychiatry at JPMC Karachi, Prof. Iqbal Afridi was another speaker in this plenary session who made a presentation on multidisciplinary approach addressing the drug menace/substance abuse in Pakistan. He highlighted the problem in detail, the current prevalent situation in the country and gave some useful suggestions to manage this through multidisciplinary team approach to achieve desired results.

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