Minister for Information and Broadcasting Senator Shibli Faraz on Wednesday underlined the need to get rid of the negative mindset which hindered the progressive resolution of women issues. Addressing a seminar on ‘national initiatives to address gender-based discrepancies and for the promotion of legal, economic and social environment of women’, he said the protection of women rights was critically important as they made up 50 per cent of the country’s population. The role played by women in the Islamic history, particularly in Pakistan’s freedom movement, he said, was a source of immense inspiration. The women’s role, participation, vision and mindset about the uplift and progress of the country remained progressive during the first three decades after its creation. But unfortunately after the 80s, he said, a retrogressive environment had emerged, which made that mindset it’s hostage. The Afghan war coupled with authoritative regimes in Pakistan totally changed the progressive mindset, and the present government had now taken up the task to rectify it, he added. Shibli Faraz lauded the positive and constructive role of women, including Shireen Mazari, Maleeka Bokhari and Sania Nishtar in the party and government affairs. Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari, he said, played a tremendous role in women’s empowerment and protecting their rights. “She has just told me that solid provisions have been included in the Journalists Protection Bill for female jurnos.” He said the government was formulating policies to transform the negative mindset by creating a conducive environment in line with the Islamic and country’s social values. The resources at the government’s disposal like Pakistan Television would be utilized at optimum level to bring revolutionary changes in the mindset by disseminating positive messages to the masses in accordance with religious and cultural norms, he added. The minister regretted that the PTV was no more arranging cultural activities, which were once its hallmark. It was an important institution, which had unfortunately become dysfunctional. The sources like the PTV were now being used in an efficient manner to banish all negative mindsets, particularly anti-women one through dramas and cultural activities, he added. Women empowerment goals could not be achieved until the mindset was changed, he stressed. Shibli Faraz said the government was fully cognizant of growing cyber crimes and rape incidents, and was working out a policy that could completely curb such social evils.