Review of GEI’s Najma Sadeque’s “An Acre for Every Woman” in http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Land+reforms+vital+for+women+empowerment.-a0253255542
ISLAMABAD, April 02, 2011 (Balochistan Times): Non Governmental Organization (NGO), Shirkat Gahs slogan an acre for every woman called for short-term solution to feed the hungry poor and introduce land reforms the in long run, to empower women at the grass root level. Head of the Green Economics Initiative of a civil society organization Shirkat Gah, Najma Sadeque said during a talk on Food Security and coping Mechanism arranged by National Commission on the Status of Women here Friday. For women emancipation in the country, Najma underlined the need of attaining self sufficiency in food which can only be achieved through land reforms. If women are given the right to a little land they will grow enough food to feed their family and sell the surplus and meet their needs, Najma said. The idea is not far-fetched because at present 80 per cent work on farms is performed by women in the form of unpaid labour and they receive no formal recognition. In her presentation, she introduced an alternative idea for producing leafy vegetables on at least 16 square feet land which can help meet food needs of a person per year. She said that the area will be enough for growing leafy vegetables including spinach and other leafy vegetable and that will not only save money but also provide fresh and healthy vegetable at home. Around 10,000 hectares land become useless every year due to excessive use of fertilizers while organic farming is good to save the soil and have many other multiple benefits, Najma observed. Najma also gave very practical and simple step-by-step instructions on how very limited space; even flowerpots, bins and crates, can be used to grow various plants which were doable and offered many advantages. If people take to growing vegetables in their garden, balconies and other open spaces available to them, the food situation in Pakistan will be transformed within a short period, she said. In a documentary film shown on the occasion, Rahat Haq pointed out that the vegetables which will be grown at home and consumed will be organic and fresh and will therefore have a positive effect on human health. The women growing vegetables will feel a visible impact on their self-esteem and dignity as they will gain control over their lives and will be empowered. About Aloe Vera, Najma said around 300 varieties are being used for last 3500 years and can be used as first aid for burn injuries, skin irritation, constipation and moisturizing the skin. It also helps to treat kidney problem, heal cuts, insect bites, sun burns and kills fungus and bacteria and it also contains six natural antiseptics which kills germs. Dermatologist suggest its use for healing surgery scars, reduce dandruff and vanish pimples spots from the skin. However, the researchers are also working to find uses of aloe vera to fight AIDS and cancer diseases. Members of civil society also attended the session and assured their support to take forward the slogan of an acre for land campaign to empower women in the country.