ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s government and political leaders have lauded the increasing role of women in society and have vowed to create further opportunities for women empowerment.
Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said on Thursday that Pakistan has come a long way in achieving women’s empowerment in all spheres, and hoped their contributions would continue “to make the country strong and prosperous” in future.
He was addressing a session with the women participants from different walks of life held at the Prime Minister’s House in Islamabad to celebrate and honour the achievements of women in Pakistan on International Women Day.
“Pakistan now has top-notch combat pilots, educationists, health and IT experts as women are making remarkable progress in health, education, science, politics and defence sectors,” Abbasi maintained. He added that women are a significant unit of society and influence the course of social change in Pakistan.
Speaking in Islamabad at an interactive session, he said that government is committed to facilitate the entry of women into every field and to ensure they get equal opportunities, facilities and emoluments.
President Mamnoon Hussain advocated for women’s education as “contribution of educated women workforce could boost national progress.” He stressed for an enabling environment for women at the workplace to catalyse their active role in different fields as women constitute more than 50 per cent of Pakistan’s population.
On Thursday, the President launched National Socio-Economic Registry Programme of Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) in Islamabad on Thursday and hoped the initiative would lead to accelerated empowerment of women. BISP is currently serving 5.7 million poor women in the country.
Tehmina Janjua, Foreign Secretary of Pakistan, highlighted the rising contribution of Pakistani women towards national development and progress. “The Government of Pakistan remains committed to the empowerment of women, particularly through active participation in the political and economic spheres.” While acknowledging that a lot needs to be done for women’s welfare, the Foreign Secretary said women in Pakistan enjoyed far greater rights and freedom today than ever before.
On this occasion, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan reaffirmed that his party would play a leading role in facilitating women empowerment and pledged to offer equal opportunities to women. “On International Women’s Day I want to reiterate PTI’s commitment to fight for women’s rights. We will also ensure the privileged few do not deprive ordinary women of their rights” Khan tweeted.
Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari in his message said, “Pakistan has produced the bravest women” and added that PPP has empowered women, but “know there’s a long way to go before women enjoy true equality.”
Punjab Chief Minister and PML-M Shehbaz Sharif remarked: “Today we celebrate the services, and contributions of our women that they are making for the development of Pakistan. Their struggles and stories are a source of inspiration. They are the lynchpin of progress the country has made over the last seven decades.”
Speaking on the occasion, Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb said “government is taking maximum steps to empower women” with the passage of important laws protecting women against violence and harassment at the workplace.
UAE embassy in Pakistan celebrates Women’s Day
On International Women’s Day, the UAE Embassy in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan celebrated the day by honouring women staff of the Embassy and representatives offices. UAE’s deputy head of mission Abdul Aziz al Neyadi shared a photo with women staffers of the embassy, saying, the embassy “appreciates their efforts and excellence in work.”
International Women’s Day is an opportunity to deliberate the progress, advocate the changes and accelerate the courageous efforts of ordinary women and their extraordinary roles in making the history of their countries and societies, the message added.