Minister of State for Health & Medical Education and Social Welfare Asiea Naqash today said the empowerment of women is the key to the development of the State.She said this in an address, after inaugurating the two days national seminar on “Girl Education to Empower Woman-A Leap”.The seminar is organized by Institute of Advanced Studies in Education (IASE) at Government College of Education M.A. Road.Speaking on the occasion, the Minister said that women hold an important place in our society and their empowerment would signal a positive turn around in our society.Reiterating the importance of education, Asiea said every religion has highlighted the importance of education. The Minister said it is important to raise awareness among masses about the issues and such type of initiatives should also be taken in rural as well as in peripheries of the city.She said such type of programmes enables in providing counselling to the poor about the need of educating girls which is the real key to the development of the valley as well as to the State.The Minister enumerated several steps Government has taken for the welfare of womenfolk in the State. She said schemes like “Laadli Beti” besides the scooty scheme would bring about the desired change among the girls of the State. Laldi Beti scheme aims at reversing the alarming trend of declining child sex ratio in some districts of the state, she informed. She asked girls to focus on education as it is the only stream which has the potential to bring about the desired social change.VC Cluster University Prof. Sheikh Javaid, Principal and Director WSC Prof. (Dr) Parveen Pandit and Deputy Director WISCOMP Seema Kakran also highlighted the need for girl education and their empowerment.Later, the Minister planted Dalia flower sapling in the premises of the College.