Islamabad - The role of women in developing a peaceful society and a prosperous nation is undeniable, said civil society activists during a ceremony held here yesterday.

Commemorating World Peace Day, the speakers said that women in Pakistan can play a pivotal role in establishing peace in the militancy-hit country by educating mothers to teach peace to their children. The event was organised by Potohar Organization for Development and Advocacy (PODA) in collaboration with European Union to highlight the importance of peace.

Essay contestants were selected from leading universities all over the country to deliver their speeches focusing on how peace can be restored in every nook and corner of the country. Social sciences, humanities and law departments’ students participated in the competition organised to mark the World Peace Day. The event was attended by about 70 representatives of many organisations, institutes and civil society organisations (CSOs).

Naveeda Khwaja, Director Programs PODA, said on the occasion that peace would continue to be an unmet wish in Pakistan until women don’t come out in the open and work for the betterment of society. “This is time that women in Pakistan should realise that they have to play heir due role. Women who are doing work at par with men have contributed splendidly to the development of peace in the country,” she said.

Stephano Gatto, Acting Head of the European Union delegation to Pakistan, accentuated the role of women in building a progressive community. He said, ”It may be surprising for you that even in Europe there is an unbalanced gender distribution in opportunities. Traditions cannot be a reason to work together for betterment.”

Valerie Khan Yousafzai, President of Group Development Pakistan, commended the efforts of the students and said that “definition of peace building is very well described by the youngsters. We hope to see more women in more high places to foster peace.”

The first secretary political affairs, embassy of Kingdom of the Netherlands, Nanna Stolze stressed that peace is the only way to prosperity. Role of women is something to be recognised. Both men and women have to stand and work together to make sure that the challenge achieving world peace does not stay a dream.